To advise or to be advised

January 29th, 2015



Dear readers of The Carroll News,


This is a column about giving advice.


How shocking, seeing as how I love to give my weekly two cents in my columns, usually revolving around the typical woes of a college student.


Here’s the thing, though. I’m graduating from college in a little over three months, and I’ve realized that I probably shouldn’t be giving advice.


Let’s look at the facts here: I’m 21 years old, which is not exactly the age of wisdom. I have no idea what I’m going to do after graduation. Well, I have some ideas, but as of now, they’re just ideas. That means that I have no concrete grasp on my future.


And, to be honest, I’m really running out of steam. To all the freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are reading this, let me tell you something – senioritis is not a joke. It’s real, it’s alive and it’s taking me down like it’s taken down so many before me. I am exhausted from school, and as much as I hate to say it, I’m exhausted from my job at The Carroll News.


I started working for this beloved newspaper my sophomore year, and that was quite literally one of the best decisions I made during my college career. I fell in love with my job as the Op/Ed Editor. Yes, it’s always been difficult. Yet, it’s been the most fulfilling kind of difficulty I’ve ever experienced.


One of the reasons I’ve loved my job so much is because of the opportunity to write this weekly column. I’m an introvert, so I generally have a hard time really speaking my mind on most occasions. However, my column has given me the chance to be creative, say what I want to say and…primarily give advice.


When I read through my past columns, I can identify a common theme in almost every single one of them: how to make your experience as a human being better. These lessons have ranged from accepting yourself to accepting others, and from seeing the world to being comfortable in your own home. And, I still stand by every word I’ve said.


However, there’s one thing I’ve never actually said in my columns.


I don’t actually know anything.


I think a lot of things, and I like to philosophize about a lot of things. But, when it comes to actual, concrete, proven knowledge about life, I know nothing.


I like to reflect on my experiences as a person. I like to hypothesize about why things are the way they are, or how they might be different in the future if we, as a human race, come together and stop hating each other so much.


But, I am young. I am naïve. And, I often give advice where it should not be given. I tell other people how to live their lives when I really don’t even know how to live my own. I can talk the talk really well, but I don’t actually know how to walk the walk.


Maybe it’s time someone gives me some advice.


I’m not trying to undermine myself, because I still stand by everything I’ve written in my columns. I’ve just come to the realization that, in my state of mental exhaustion, maybe it’s time for me to just listen.


Now, just because I can’t help myself, I’ll just leave one bit of advice here. Recognize that your perspective is limited and advice is essential. When you run out of things to say, let yourself be quiet and listen for awhile. I know I’m ready to.


At least I’ll be ready after I write my final six columns for The Carroll News.