Shut-In To Senior: College Changes You

By Nick Erickson, Staff writer

In April of 2014, I threw together the most colorful outfit I had while waiting for my parents to finish getting ready. Wanting to look decent for my first tour of Murray State, I decided to go against my usual attire scheme of all black and grey and opt for a turquoise shirt and khakis. I’m thankful I did, for I didn’t realize I’d be taking photos for a Racer I.D. that same day.

I’ve carried that same I.D. with me everywhere I’ve went for the last three years, until last week. The magnetic strip on the back of the card finally wore down, prompting me to walk to the Curris Center to get a new one. I sat down, gave my best attempt at a closed-mouth smile and took the picture. Upon getting my new card, it initially felt strange not looking at the same photo taken of me three years prior. As I walked back to my dorm, the realization hit me: I’m about to be a senior.

In a way that I feel wouldn’t make a lot of sense to others because it doesn’t make much sense to myself, it feels like my senior year of high school feels more recent than my freshman year here at Murray State. I’m unsure why that is, but one thing I’m certain of is that my time here has flown by. As I compared my new I.D. to my original one, I realized just how much I’ve changed since starting here.

The past three years have shaped my persona into something I never would have thought of starting college. As a naturally introverted person, I have branched out in effort to better myself. It started with me joining cymbal line in Racer Band and learning to do cartwheels (albeit not well). It started with me facing my fears of public speaking in COM-161.

It started with me trying my hand in the music department and being told I was not good enough, only pushing me to better my musicianship. It started with me being heartbroken and driving me to pursue writing. It started with the subtle push of my newswriting professor which led me to begin writing for the campus newspaper. It started with me being a shy, soft-spoken 17-year-old getting his photo taken without certainty that I’d even attend Murray State.

I’ve changed these past three years. I’m thankful for the surface level changes, for no longer straightening my hair or always wearing band t-shirts. The changes I’m most thankful for, however, are in my ability to step outside my comfort zone. Time is flying by, and with only a year left here I can honestly say I look forward to what I can become.