For senior Ben Jay, graduation more sweet than bitter

Cramming my overall impression of four years of college into one 495-word article is a gargantuan task and it’s one that’s probably impossible to do properly. Regardless, here’s my best shot.

At the end of my sophomore year, I was terrified by the thought that I was already halfway done with college. At the end of my junior year, I was still sorry that I only had one year left, but expected that I’d be ready to move on in a year’s time.

Now that I’m going down the final stretch, staring down graduation and the uncertain future that comes with it, I can now say – without a doubt –that I am ready to get out of Geneseo and to move on with my life.

While this may seem like a bitter assessment, the truth is that my past four years have been tremendous. After a difficult freshman year in which I struggled with a major that I eventually left, I found myself on more stable footing by my sophomore year and found niches in both WGSU-FM and The Lamron.

I bought my first single-lens reflex camera the year I started out on The Lamron so I could take and publish photos. I rose to the position of photo editor not long after.

One academic year, several noteworthy assignments, many new friends and a decimated spleen later, I found myself working as a photo intern at New York City’s alternative weekly, The Village Voice, shooting restaurants across the five boroughs for citywide publication – first for academic credit and later as a paid freelancer.

Upon returning to Geneseo in the fall of 2010, I sought to apply some of what I learned at The Village Voice to The Lamron, hoping to make an impact on this proud publication and the Geneseo community by documenting a small slice of its history.

During the summer of 2011, I traveled to Beijing and studied at Peking University. I made friends from across the world and absorbed one of the world’s truly magnificent cities. While I was glad to return to Geneseo that fall, I’ve spent this past academic year anxiously waiting for the moment when I leave quiet and rural Western New York behind to properly see the world and what it has to offer.

I hope my strong desire to leave Geneseo and Western New York doesn’t seem obnoxious, because my time here has been genuinely wonderful. Several weeks ago, I had breakfast with a high school friend in Montreal, Quebec who likened our miserable time in high school to the plot of the 2004 film Mean Girls.

Four years ago, I was as anxious to leave Mamaroneck High School as I am to leave Geneseo now, but I can safely say Geneseo has been far more pleasant than both MHS and Cady Heron’s experience in Mean Girls.

Geneseo has given me a lot, and I hope I’ve contributed to it as well, but all good things must eventually come to an end. To take a line from Douglas Adams: Geneseo, so long, and thanks for all the fish.