The Final Panel

Goodbye columns are scattered throughout this paper and while I can't speak for any of my colleagues, mine is more for me than it is for you. I don't mean be egotistical and say I don't care about you, dear reader, but I needed some space to layout exactly where the last four years went - because honestly I can't remember.

I guess we all look for some trite advice to dole out at the end of our collegiate career, something to say, "Hey, I've learned at least this much from four years and $20,000." Well I don't have anything like that, just my thanks to everyone who's read A Week in Ink, my two year ongoing comic column, and two sentences from my favorite author Kurt Vonnegut. "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience."

I cite the aforementioned speech for a simple reason, no matter where you are in age, you're about to embark on an adventure. Summer is a time for most of us to return to our places of origin, stay with the progenitors, and work either that coveted internship or a new nine-to-five grind. This adventure may be the greatest endeavor of your life, or a way to make a quick buck. I could prattle off advice on how I've succeeded (and failed) during the course of my four-year stay at UB. I could tell you about the incredible experience I had working for Official Xbox Magazine in San Francisco last summer. I could tell you about the amazing events like BlizzCon, Buffalo ComicCon, and UBCON I've had the pleasure of attending during my three-year stint as a journalist, or I could tell you about the amazing staff I worked with right here at The Spectrum. But rather than all the above, I'd rather give you the simple adage: wherever you go, wear sunscreen.

Four years and 150 articles ago, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life and with graduation two weeks away, I still don't. That's OK. I guess this is the roundabout way of saying - and reiterating to myself - that's a part of life. As for me, I'm going to spend the better part of the next few months wandering. I have no job lined up after college apart from a few freelance gigs, no apartment to move into, and no love interest to finally tie the knot with. I'm leaving this university with a few hundred in the bank account and a slightly more convoluted understanding of computers - trust me, a computer science degree will do that to you.

I shouldn't try and dissuade myself. I'm scared out of my mind. I have no idea where I'll get swept off to on the sea of life, I have no map or compass, and I'll be quite honest, I never could swim well. I take some solace knowing I'm not the only one, but the idea of being turned loose on the real world sounds absolutely horrifying.

In short, I have no idea where life is going to take me and honestly I've never really known, but my mantra always been, "it'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end." I can't promise you'll ever feel this way, but knowing that someone else has been there and came out alive hopefully can provide some sense of security. So while I set out on my own adventure May 14, the only thing I know is that I'll be wearing sunscreen.