Richard Kelly bids Washburn a farewell

This is my last issue working for the Washburn Review.

I can’t believe I just said that.

Let me preface everyone who’s reading this why that’s so significant.

I started at Washburn University in the fall of 2008, following my senior year of high school. It’s been a long and exciting ride to say the least.

It all began with an eventful student orientation and enrollment in fall classes. Following this, I geared up for my first semester. I still remember the nerves and uncertainty, not knowing what college classes would be like compared to high school.

Turns out, they weren’t that different. I took a few honors classes in high school and always pushed myself academically, so when teachers said I’d have to work hard to get good grades, it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

I knew when I arrived at Washburn, I wanted to start a new chapter of my life, and in that I wanted to make sure I was more involved as an Ichabod than I was as a Charger at Topeka West High School. My first way of making this a reality came as I started writing for the Washburn Review a few weeks into my first semester. Through this, I began to see all of the outlets I could get involved in at Washburn.

This was just the beginning.

During my freshman year, I also became involved in Bod Squad and quickly learned school spirit at Washburn needed a kickstart. This is a common theme throughout my time in school, as it turns out. I always wanted to bring energy to whatever I was a part of. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I didn’t.

In that light, this is the point where I could go through each semester and year of my time, highlighting milestone moments, academic successes, what didn’t go so well and more, but I know that would get boring for you readers.

So, without further ado, I’ll skip five years to the present. I’ll put it this way: there is a week and a half of school left, and I’m still as busy as ever. This semester has been especially impactful though, as I’ve been a part of Leadership Greater Topeka 2013, I’ve been Vice President of Phi Delta Theta- Kansas Beta, and I’ve also been working on an independent project for the local tourism guide, Visit Topeka Inc. Those three projects have allowed for me to really develop a better sense of my strengths and weaknesses, which I’m thankful for.

But through reading this article, my point is to educate everyone. I want to give five general guidelines for how I think you can be successful and happy at Washburn. These are completely arbitrary, but I feel I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t write this.

1. Trust your intuition about your focus of studies. I’ve seen too many students follow a path set forth by someone else in their lives, only to find they are unhappy with the outcome. Find your passion.

2. Don’t be afraid to try something new, to go to an event alone, or to follow a path your friends aren’t taking. Be autonomous and individualistic.

3. Talk to your professors, advisors and mentors. Their advice and guidance is not in vain, and they are only here to help you.

4. Make new friends. Don’t forget the old ones in the process, but don’t be afraid to branch out. Beyond that, realize you may grow separate from someone you’ve always been close to. It’s bound to happen.

5. Have pride in your university. Whether that means taking your academics seriously, going to sporting events, attending musicals, volunteering to clean up the Union lawn, or anything else Washburn related, so be it. Don’t forget you’re an Ichabod, not a Jayhawk, not a Wildcat, not a Shocker. An Ichabod. Stand proud by that statement.

In closing, I wouldn’t trade my time at Washburn for anything. It’s been a wonderful five years, and I will never forget all of the great memories. Here’s to hoping it brings you everything it brought me. Good luck, Ichabods.