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The Good Life

By Lizzie Glaser
On April 18, 2012

Henry Ward Beecher once wrote: "Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today." Nonetheless, as I approach the end of my tenure at Xavier University, I find myself preoccupied with reliving the happiness I've found in the past four years and searching

for it in the postgraduate world. So, pardon me, Mr. Beecher, but I think you're full of shit. I won't lie. I'm not one of those "my college experience was perfect" people. In fact, it was probably as far as possible from the way I had imagined it, and certainly did not fulfill my expectations for

"the best four years of your life." But, as I've learned, there

are always a few exceptions to the rule. In my case, there are three: my program, my extracurricular and my friends.

I am a Philosophy, Politics and the Public student (cue eye rolls, groans and coughs disguising the word "pretentious").

Ridicule me all you want, but this program is the sole reason I didn't transfer out " Ask yourself this question. In your favorite memory, are you by yourself? Patrick Clark, Staff Writer of here a half semester in. I'm no stranger to the rumors that PPP is a cult, and honestly, I have no intention of dispelling them. But for me, PPP was the most exhilarating part of my college experience. Through this program, I've learned critical, analytical and professional skills that will

benefit me in any job market. I've researched, written,

debated and become passionate about issues that I didn't know existed four years ago. I've found friends in some

of the most dedicated, intelligent and interesting people I've ever met. I've worked in depth on a campaign, discussed

policy with federal representatives and written 50 pages of a thesis that I can honestly say I am proud of, and all with an acquired regard for the public good. I've had professors

inspire me to act, provide me with internship opportunities,

lead me down different and enthralling intellectual paths and offer me a glass of wine. And I've seen the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower, and that is something that I will never forget. So tell me, did your program do that? I'm not pretentious, I'm just proud, because without the PPP program

I would never have learned how to discern what makes

me happy. Which brings me to my second exception, the extracurricular. As you may be able to tell, I write for the Newswire. I was very hesitant to become involved with anything at Xavier, and only started with the Newswire in

2010. But for two years of my college experience, I spent nearly every Tuesday night locked up in the Newswire office designing pages, writing and editing stories, conducting interviews and cropping pictures until around 2 a.m. But even as someone who has always had an interest in journalism, Tuesday began to take its toll, in an endearing way. In my two years with the Newswire I've gained valuable experience in design software, media writing and

office management, all of which can benefit me immensely in my search for "future happiness" (aka a job). But in addition to that, I've had the pleasure of beginning and developing relationships with such a diverse group of people, and I've seen them progress in their work for the paper and in their personal lives. My staff truly became a community of friends, and I want to thank you all for being such hardworking and genuine people- without you I would never have understood that money doesn't bring happiness, but passion and integrity do. To round out my final reflections

on my college experience, I'd like to toast to my friends.

Though my experience at Xavier was nowhere close to what I thought college would be like, I would never have gotten through it without my friends. And I don't mean that in a "your friends are important" way. I mean it in a "your friends are the best investment you can possibly make in your own happiness" way. My friends and I couldn't come

from more different niches and interests, and somehow we all found a way to relate to each other as people, and I think that's friendship in its purest form. Our friendship is not based on mutual activities, friends, future goals, family backgrounds or even cities. Four years ago, we were

perfect strangers. Now, I walk away from Xavier four years

richer in memories and people in my life that I know will never

leave it. And so a toast: to the crew, to the cahoots, to thick as thieves, to thick or thin-to my friends. Without them, I could never have known how happy it makes me to truly be myself. "Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today." Perhaps, Mr. Beecher, you are correct. I can't dwell on happiness of the past and I can't know it for certain in the future. But I know that now, in this moment, I know what happiness is. So I hope tomorrow is like today.


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