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2014 already stands out as a year of growth, learning

Column by Taylor Soule

RBG Soule-w800-h800Wait, it’s only Feb. 24? Though 2014 began a month ago, I feel I’ve learned more in that time than I have, well, ever.

A few of 2014’s ‘life lessons’ are a tad cliché, I admit (you know, the kind of epiphany a teenage girl might explain with a vague quote and an over-filtered selfie).

While caffeine and catch-up work rule my life, and while I barely have time to bake my beloved caramel cake recipe, 2014’s lessons — trite and poignant alike — prove that opportunities to learn are everywhere.

Travel. I’d never ventured beyond the U.S. until my J-term trip to Turkey. Though the crazy traffic in Istanbul left my heart rate forever in peril, I realized a newfound desire to wander. More and more, I find myself Googling the faraway places that before felt like ephemeral snapshots of another world. Now, I realize that the world was always mine to begin with, and I have a pesky need to explore it. Did I mention I’m traveling to New York City in March?

Be a priority, not an option. Yeah, I promised a few ‘life lessons’ fit for the iPhone wallpaper of a 14-year-old girl. Friendship requires effort from both parties. Put the effort in, but hold the other party accountable for equal effort. And if that party doesn’t reciprocate, let it go. I’d better go perfect the, “I’m complicated, don’t judge me,” expression for my matching Instagram selfie.

Step back. A car roars into a puddle. Gravity tugs the now-drenched cartoon character’s grin into a frown.

Thanks to the charming blend of precipitation we received last week, I realized that fateful scenario isn’t limited to the cartoon programs of my childhood. It’s real, and no amount of, “I’m from Iowa. I can handle winter weather,” will alleviate the frigid “squish, squish” of water-logged sneakers.

Don’t get comfortable. I’ve been at Drake for a while (though I frequently field the dreaded question, “Are you a first-year?”), and I sometimes feel trapped in the Bulldog grind. With a little volunteering and a little chattiness (OK, with me, it’s a lot), however, I’ve met new people.

Though I claim, “I just want to graduate already,” from time to time, a few new faces have renewed my passion for Drake and more importantly, Times-Delphic readers.

It’ll all work out. It always does. This final 2014 lesson isn’t from me, but since I’m in my final semester of journalism coursework at Drake, it feels appropriate. As I face the stress and late-night insanity of the TD Relays Edition and my senior news-Internet capstone, I’m relying on the succinct but wise words of late School of Journalism and Mass Communication professor Richard Tapscott.

Though I’ve already had a few mini panic attacks complete with entire pints of Ben & Jerry’s (chocolate chip cookie dough, obviously), I keep coming back to Rick’s words and example.

With a bulk of 2014 left, I’m excited for more life lessons. But first, I need to change the wallpaper on my iPhone, and I know the perfect quote for it: “It’ll all work out. It always does.”

Soule is a junior news Internet and writing double major and can be reached at tdeditorinchief@gmail.com


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