Avery Campbell, Editor-in-Chief

Lost among what’s behind me, around me and ahead of me are a plethora of small moments that have shaped me into who I am today.

They say getting lost is what helps you find yourself and that’s EXACTLY what I did on the first day of freshman year. Although I don’t necessarily enjoy reliving that first day of high school in my head, I give it all the credit for opening my eyes to the realization that high school could be more than just a place where I’m forced to learn things like the Pythagorean theorem or write the notorious English research paper. It could be my home away from home. After all, the last time I got lost on the first day of school was middle school and that same day, in Mrs. Conlon’s math class, I met my best friend and I wouldn’t trade him for even the biggest jar of pickles. High school ultimately became the place that has nurtured some of my greatest dreams, inspirations and friendships. You never know how your past will affect you. What’s behind me has made me into who I am today.

All around me is love: a family I have made, relationships I have formed, and friendships that have consumed me. They have all taught me something, given me something to hold onto and have been there for me no matter what. They have impacted me in ways they may never know. Without them, I wouldn’t have never found THEE greatest caesar wrap in Cedar Rapids (Parlor City Pub and Eatery) or that movie nights aren’t really movie nights because seven girls staying quiet for more than two seconds is almost IMPOSSIBLE, not even kidding. To my best friends, I cannot wait to see where we will end up. Even if that is miles apart, you will always be a part of me.

Ahead of me, my future is peaking over the smogged horizon as I catch glimpses here and there of some of my greatest aspirations. But trying to plan out where I want to be in ten years is actually tough, and plans don’t always work out the way one envisions them to. So, to my future self or for whoever needs to hear this, here I am to say it’s OKAY to not have your life in order. Life will fall into place, so just find happiness in the little things.

For me, it’s enjoying the fluffy 20-pound tornado that comes pouncing into my room each morning with the most slobbery of kisses. Do what makes you happy and never lose sight of what you aspire to accomplish because your past experiences are the building blocks to your future. I hope you can focus on the part of life that builds character and knowledge. I hope no matter where future Avery is, she never loses sight of the goals she made.

Behind me and around me all offer valuable lessons, but none will compare to what’s to come. Your life is in your hands, you have all the power. Build a life you can be proud of, but don’t abandon the life you lived while at Xavier. Every piece of you will follow you into the future. Your past cannot be changed, but you can use who you were, what you learned, or who impacted you as inspiration for the future. So, to my pocket-sized inspirations that I will take with me wherever I go, thank you for being on this journey with me.