The Common Issue—Be the captain on your own flight.

Illustration credit: Kristine Delicana

Well, this is it—my last column for a while. Of course, right when I am getting comfortable with constantly sharing my inner thoughts and feelings, it’s all over.

Now as much as I know you all will miss my witty banter and charming humor, I am proud to say that I have successfully completed this semester with some of my dignity still intact and a lot of life lessons learned—that I’m sure you can relate to.

This whole semester has reminded me a lot of an airport—And, not because I’m currently sitting in one right now writing this— but bear with me. Airports are a magical place, with people flying around the world, different views on life and different backgrounds. Everything I have learned by writing this column each week, can be compared to some part of an airport.

1. Like the members of the TSA don’t find my sarcasm entertaining when I joke about how empty bullet shells get into my purse by “training to join Charlie’s Angels.” People are sensitive and it’s important to remember that just because you’re not you still need to take into account other peoples’ feelings.

2. Like the screaming child wanting his parents to play with him in the terminal taught me, if you want something, you and only you are the person that is going to make it happen. With enough consistency, you can be undefeated, and your parents will play with you.

3. Be nice to your flight attendants, build a relationship and they’ll give you the fresh coffee, and not the old lukewarm brew from the last go-round. Be rude and they’ll mysteriously be “out of soft drinks” when the motion sickness starts to hit you. Relationships, like life, have their ups and downs but it’s important to remember that you can choose to get off the roller coaster ride whenever you choose

4. Don’t like paying 10 million dollars for a mediocre TV dinner on a flight but have to because you’re starving? Pack food that you enjoy. I’m currently eating a nice handful of gold fish because I knew that buying them here would not make me, or my wallet happy. So, if there is anything that doesn’t make you happy, it’s not worth it. Life is short, there’s no need to waste it on crap that you don’t care about.

5. Sometimes your flight gets delayed, even canceled, and while you may feel like it’s the end of the world, there is a whole plane full of people trying to figure everything out right next to you. We all have problems; some more than others but remember that you are never alone, I can promise you that.

It’s not that writing this column suddenly made me realize all of these things but it did put a lot into perspective. College is only a few years out of your life. For a lot of us this is the only time you will be considered an adult without having a lot of real adult responsibilities.

Really let that sink in because next we graduate, and then we’re expected to find a job. Then, after you get a serious job, you might get a house, be in some kind of serious relationship and live happily ever after.

I don’t know about you but I can barely make it through finals. So, figuring out what the heck is going to happen with my future is beyond me—unless you’re talking five minutes ahead.

All I know is that the best way to get there is to take it one step at a time. Or, to keep with the analogy, one plane ticket at a time.

And just like the planes that arrive and depart, after waiting around the terminal for a while, you too will depart on your own journey and arrive at your future.

To all of my graduates: good luck to you, I hope you arrive safely and with minor turbulence.