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Humans of Drake: Derrick Fridley

BY HALLIE O’NEILL

Senior Derrick Fridley, a finance and economics double major, loves “Bee Movie.” For him, it’s “an emotional rollercoaster of animation and fun.” He said he’s seen it 37 times.

“The Bee Movie is a movie about Barry B. Benson,” Fridley said. “It’s a coming-to-life story about how he determines what he really wants in life, and what he really wants is to be a pollen jock, a successful pollen jock, and enjoy life both inside and outside the hive.”

Besides “Bee Movie” commentary, he’s a man of few words, but Fridley has learned quite a few life lessons from his favorite movie.

“Life’s an adventure,” Fridley said. “You have to venture outside the hive, or outside your comfort zone, to enjoy and find what you like.”

In true Barry B. Benson fashion, Fridley once took a risk by auditioning as a drum player for a band. He said he wasn’t good enough, but then he decided to learn the bass guitar. The band chose him to play it with them just three weeks after he picked it up.

Unfortunately, the band’s stint was brief—two weeks, to be exact.

“It was when I was a freshman in college,” Fridley said. “We started the week before spring break, and we broke up during spring break because our lead guitarist never showed up to our one practice we had. And that’s it.”

Now, Fridley is fine with just listening to music, but unlike many Midwesterners, he’s not a fan of country music.

“I try to avoid it as much as possible,” he said.

Instead, he enjoys alternative rock, specifically that of Cage the Elephant and Car Seat Headrest. The best concert he’s ever been to was a Mountain Goats show, but they’re not alternative, they’re “kind of folk-y,” he confirmed.

As a finance student, he’s a fan of money-related work. But his reasoning behind his career path of choice was a bit of a wisecrack.

“I like looking at numbers and staring at spreadsheets and being bored all day,” Fridley said.

Nonetheless, he’s all set to start working as a Wells Fargo analytics specialist when he graduates. Numbers and data are the areas in which he excels.

If he ever won the lottery, though, he’d give most of the money away.

“I’d probably buy retirement for my father,” Fridley said. “He’s worked hard his whole life, and I feel like he deserves to retire and be happy, and if a little bit of money that I happen to win by random chance would give that to him … he’s done a lot for me with helping pay for college and raising me.”

When he’s not staring at numbers or watching “Bee Movie” for the umpteenth time, he’s playing computer games, attending Drake Poker Club or playing intramural soccer.

Now, just seven weeks from graduation, Fridley is thinking about what’s ahead. He has no problem summing up the last four years he spent here at Drake, which he calls, “an adventure worth $40,000 a year.”

This begs the question: was it worth it?

“I would say it was,” Fridley said. “I met some great people, learned a bunch of things. I learned who I am as a person and got a lot of lifelong lessons and opportunities from it that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

It’s safe to say that Barry B. Benson would approve.

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