The Crimson White

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Lauren Ferguson

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I hate to be that girl. You know, the one who devotes her entire senior column to the college newspaper, but I’m going to do it.

Hear me out, please.

When I first arrived on campus four years ago, I was naïve and sheltered. I might have had an elitist mentality, thinking I deserved to attend a pricier, more prestigious school. (Whatever.) And I might have thought I wasn’t meant for sorority life. (Well, I pledged.) And I might have thought that all of my college days would be spent in a drunken daze of Wine Wednesdays, full social calendars and a pending marriage in the far – but still not too distant – future. (I’m laughing right now.)

I took advantage of my first year by joining a sorority, multiple clubs and honor societies all the while collecting varying friend groups. But nothing quite clicked. I joined The Crimson White. But, it didn’t click either. (I know, shocking.) They didn’t even want me as a freshman – it took an entire semester of hounding the lifestyles editor with emails before she agreed to take me under her wing. Even then, I struggled to learn how write event previews that didn’t make my editors cringe.

Never did it cross my mind that maybe, one day, I’d like to move up. I was content.

Who were these people anyway? Some mysterious upperclassmen who were best friends with their “coworkers” and enjoyed staying in the newsroom past midnight. What kind of college student does that? Not me. Or so I thought.

Four years later, here I am – much wiser than I was freshman year and, more importantly, much more driven. While I can’t say I’ve found my life’s purpose at the ripe age of 22, The University of Alabama and The Crimson White have given me the foundation of who I am and who I want to be.

I’m now what you call one of those “Ceedub people.” You know, the previously mentioned deranged college student who spends more hours at the office than classes and studying combined and still wants to get drinks with her coworkers. (Really, they’re friends.)

Unfortunately, this type of dedication is lacking among many students. Having “huge life plans” post graduation is perfectly acceptable, but what about your time here on campus? I can’t imagine how empty the past four years would have been without finding this niche on campus.

It’s not bad to want the typical college experience – whatever that may be. However, my challenge to UA students is to extend beyond their comfort zone and find something that drives them to better themselves as people and to better this University.

Alabama prides itself on recruiting the brightest and best academically, but that’s not the only quality that builds a strong college community. Students must be driven to excel beyond textbooks and parties. That’s the only way our campus will see progress.

Too many opportunities slip by simply because students are too apathetic or too content to explore who they are as individuals and where their passions lie. I know the past four years did not follow my original college plan, and I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for all of The Crimson White editors, past and current, who saw my potential even when I didn’t. If my time here at the Capstone has taught me anything, it’s that I love being a journalist, I love the Crimson White community, and I’m leaving here as a much different person.

To all my non-journalism friends (you know who you are), thank you. Thank you for listening to me talk, rant and brag about The Crimson White, something that extends beyond just an organization, for the past few years. Y’all are the best.

Lauren Ferguson was the managing editor of the Crimson White.

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