By Alexander Plate
When I first came to SUNY Oswego in the fall of 2016 I was in exactly the same boat as every other freshman tends to be in — on my own, unsure of where to start and probably just a little underprepared.
Over the subsequent three and a half years, I’ve developed a new sense of individuality, pushed my independence further than ever before and found myself more than capable of a lot of things I never would have expected myself to master.
SUNY Oswego was not my first choice for school. When I first toured, I thought the admissions representative was irritating and too self-impressed, and the campus seemed impossibly spread out, and just about as unattractive as could be. Plus, while the rest of the state was enjoying 45-degree weather and sun, Oswego was about 25 degrees, rainy and as windy as ever for my first tour.
However, the journalism program was competitive, the professors were genuinely nice and accessible, and it was far away enough from home than I would not be able to get a surprise visit from my mother, no matter how many times she threatened it. I committed to attend SUNY Oswego.
What I got out of the experience was a lot more than I expected to.
I made the lifelong friends everyone says you find at school. I met professors who legitimately challenged me intellectually and showed me new ways in which I could succeed. I forced myself to become more self-reliant, eventually choosing to call Oswego my year-round home for the rest of my time in college here.
I was given plenty of chances to learn how to stand up for myself, against the school, the utility companies and the local landlords. Oswego forced me to stand on my own two feet, and for that I am grateful.
The city has come a long way in a short time, thanks to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which I have become intimately familiar with through my reporting with The Oswegonian. There is plenty of work left to be done, but the city has many more prospects for the bored college student than it used to.
If SUNY Oswego taught me anything, it’s that I am a lot more capable than I thought I could be. There are a lot of things I will miss from Oswego, the memories and the local staples that have pinned up the backdrop of my life for the last nearly four years. There’s a lot I am taking with me too though, and I know I would not be the same without Oswego.
Headed into the future, I am now focused on applying to jobs, and everything that entails. Endless cover letters, a lot of referring to myself in the first person, trying to present myself in a positive light. Making my social media pages private because… that’s just a good idea.
There is a lot of uncertainty in my future — this is the first time that I have genuinely not known where I am going to be in six months. It is as a friend of mine put it, “just life and just my time to go through it all.”
I still do not quite understand how I am going to pay a security deposit, and with job applications completed for companies in Delaware, North Dakota and Nebraska I’m worried about the whole moving process in and of itself.
Of course, there is a part of me that is worried that I will end up working at a Target, shelving copies of Bill O’Riley books, living in a basement apartment with a mold issue and no bathtub. I don’t expect that to happen, but you never really know, do you?
Whatever happens, I think I am ready to take my next steps. I just have to sit down and get to work on it all.