Crash and burn

Column by Connor Jaschen, Editor-in-Chief

On the first Wednesday of classes, I was driving back to my house to park my car and walk onto campus. My driveway was inaccessible for one reason or another, but because I am who I am, I pushed my luck and tried to squeeze in anyway. Inevitably, I not only failed to park, but put my car in the two-foot-deep ditch right by my yard.

You could say this was not the ideal way to start out my classes.

My roommates came outside, and when they saw what happened, they weren’t exactly surprised. My skills as a driver are infamous – often times my friends won’t ride with me for their only safety. One of them came out and spent the next hour trying to help me out of the ditch. Eventually our fraternity president, Michael Mann, came by and broke me free.

This isn’t a column about good friends or brotherhood, though. This is about crashing into a ditch.

That day, I had been stressed beyond belief, so you can imagine my honest worry when being stuck in a ditch was how my day continued.

I have a busy schedule. Even in the first week, I spent most of my days stressing in my office, trying to get a newspaper to run. Between being a full-time student, on my fraternity’s executive board and Editor-in-Chief, my time is stretched thin, giving very little time for a social life and even less for me to mess up.

But this turned out to be just what I needed.  I took pictures of my car (with my back left wheel a foot off the ground) and sent them to my professor with an apologetic email explaining why I hadn’t shown up to his class. He excused me and it was all going to be OK.

While I missed out on the wonderful in-class opportunity to learn about small towns and rural governments, I did get to hang out with some of my best friends, enjoy the good weather and have a day to myself. All in all, the small defeat I had in the great battle with the ditch turned into a huge victory for the war of Connor’s mental and emotional health.

In general, I’ve become an advocate for taking chances even with the possibility of messing up. Even when your car is stuck and you can’t get to class and you don’t know how you’ll survive the day, let alone the semester, just remember: the sun is still there, the wind is still rustling the trees and at the end of the day, a skipped class will work itself out.

Sometimes, crashing and burning is the only thing that can remind you that everything is OK. So take that chance, try and fit your car in the spaces you probably shouldn’t and see how throwing a wrench in your own plans can change your day.