The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Letter to the Editor: College is short — do the most with it and appreciate it

Departing EIC Carter Schaffer’s final words of advice and gratitude for the university and the Collegian

It’s hard processing the end of so many chapters as the weeks of my college career dwindle down, but as the inevitable march of time carries on, you must stare down the truth that it’s time to depart and accept whatever is next in the path of life. For me, staring that down meant putting pen to paper, or hands to keyboard, and reflecting on four years of my life in a single article.

At the heart of it all: The Collegian. Serving as editor-in-chief for two years was the most pivotal decision of my college career. It became part of my identity — what my life revolved around. It wasn’t always easy either; it was pretty stressful, especially in the beginning. It took countless hours throughout the week and always being on call in case news broke. Although tough at times, it was ultimately very gratifying. 

The greatest reward of all was working together as a team and having the privilege of leading so many talented and bright peers who I’m confident will go into the real world and do big things. There have been so many writers, designers and photographers who came here and put in the time — seeing the improvements and elevations happen in real time has been surreal.

I challenge all of you — media and communication major or not — to join a medium of student media at some point in your college life. Worst case scenario, you learn transferable skills, get experience and make connections. If you stick with it, you get the opportunity to exercise your creative freedoms at one of the greatest universities in the country.

I’d also challenge you to say yes to every academic opportunity thrown your way. College is the time to take risks and find your passion, before you have to worry about raising a family or staying financially secure. It’s better knowing you don’t enjoy something than regretting that you never tried.

Make every memory you can. Four years does not give you enough time to waste. Go out with your friends, plan dates, hit the bars. Of course, know yourself and don’t burn out, but when graduation nears you will look back and regret choosing to do nothing over choosing to do something.

Lastly, aim to do everything with love as your motivation. It’s something Kansas State’s men’s basketball head coach Jerome Tang preached since he got here, and his speech after beating Kansas in 2023 always stuck with me.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish when you do it out of a motive of love,” Tang said. “And joy. And passion.”

Every action you take and word you say becomes so much more powerful when you do it out of love for yourself and for the people around you. It’s a hard mindset to master — I still struggle most days practicing it — but life becomes more purposeful and positive when you apply it.

To all my fellow graduates, I wish you the best of luck in wherever life takes you next. To those still studying, I implore you to never take a day for granted and work every day to get the most out of your short time here.

To everyone who has ever read a paper or an article or supported The Collegian in any way, shape or form over the past few years, thank you for your support, and thank you for letting me serve you. I owe you all the highest gratitude for your support to myself, the paper and student journalism as a whole.

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About the Contributor
Carter Schaffer
Carter Schaffer, editor-in-chief
EIC for 2023-24. Previously EIC for 2022-23 and writer and photographer for spring 2022.
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