Life Is A Journey To Be Experienced, Not Solved: Nathaniel Pinskey’s Senior Column
August 23, 2014 was the day I had been looking forward to for years — the beginning of a new chapter, a new start to my life. The next day, before classes even started, I was ready to pack up my dorm room, move home, and just work at Hersheypark for the rest of my life (although I’m not convinced I will ever get out of the trap that the ghost of Milton Hershey still holds on me eight years after starting my first summer job there).
To those that are already bored and ready to click out of this post, thanks for the page views! To my mom, thanks for performing your parental duties and reading the rest of this boring story.
Four years later, I lay here on the hammock swinging on my twelfth floor balcony reminiscing about the countless experiences and amazing people I have encountered. Looking back, I expected college to be this perfect experience, but it was nowhere near what I thought it would be. I made mistakes, I changed my major, I made a fool of myself more often than not, and yet I somehow made it to the last week of classes.
From storming the field after upsetting Ohio State, road tripping to Indy for the Big Ten Championship, traveling to Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl, and just enjoying all the little moments with my friends, I would not trade my college experience for anything.
Anyone who knows me well knows that they can find me either at the Gaff, Yallah, or my apartment. I don’t know what I will do without either three of these, but I can guarantee I will be making frequent returns to all three locations during football weekends.
Thanks for sticking through the boring part about my life, but these people below are way more important than anything I could say about myself.
To The Editors: You made two mistakes: 1) Listening to Joe Pickard persuade you to give me an interview and 2) Listening to Steve wanting to hire me only because he had previously drank on a roof with me and thought at the very least I would be fun to drink with. Thank you for giving me a chance to join as a senior and pursue experiences at Penn State that I would not have had without this opportunity. I hope I did enough to at least make my hiring somewhat justified. Thank you to those of you who convinced me not to quit after a couple weeks and stay on staff.
To Onward State: Thank you to all the people I met and worked with throughout the year and became good friends with. You are all weird as shit, but the perfect group of people that I belonged with.
To My Parents and Family: Thank you for always stressing how important getting a good education is and always supporting every decision I made, while making sure I learned from the bad ones. Also, thank you for letting me move back home after graduation. I promise I’ll move out soon, but no promises on keeping my bedroom clean until then.
To Joe: Thank you for convincing Elissa and the rest of the editors to give me an interview. I would apologize for making you put up with me all the time, but I think we’re even after I let you stay at my apartment every other weekend.
To Bailey and James: The three of us have probably gotten way too close the last two years living together, but there’s no one else I would choose to share a bedroom with. There’s too much to be said, and none of it should be said in here, so let’s just drink tonight instead.
To Kat and Erin: I don’t know where to begin. The two of you became my closest friends three years ago and I don’t know what I would do without either of you. Thank you for putting up with my annoyance and letting me keep Carson for the last two years.
To Carly, Alex, Bryan, and Dani: Thank you all for choosing me to be a part of your THON committees the last three years. Without any of you I would not have had the amazing THON experiences that I had, nor would I have met the incredible people on Carlyfornia DR&Reamers, SouR&R Patch Gibs, and Drake and jHOSh. Because of the four of you, I have made numerous lifetime friends.
To Everyone Else: Sorry I didn’t name anyone else by name, but this is starting to feel like the part in Oscar speeches where they start playing music so that I stop talking and get off the stage. Everyone I met in the four years at Penn State left me with incredible memories that I will never forget. You all mean so much to me. Thank you!
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About the Author
Garcia is the first known Penn State student to die after contracting the virus.
“We will no longer sit back and watch as the university continues to disrespect and misuse its BIPOC students.”
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