So, this is it. This is the end for me—the end of my days here at Vanier. When you start cégep, you’d always picture how the next two years of your life will plan out. Truth is, nothing ever goes according to plan. Things will happen during your time that you ain’t have no power over it. That is definitely what happened to me throughout my time here at Vanier.
Anyone who knows me knows I had the most challenging time of my life in high school. Coming to Vanier was my moment to redeem myself and make up for all the wrongs I did in my adolescence. I wanted the next two years of my life to be a life where I’d be a popular kid with too many friends where I’d be known for my writing, my knowledge, and my love for country music. But then, a damned old virus changed our lives, and suddenly, I was stuck with an extra year here. I guess I could never be that kid with too many friends. Everywhere I went, I realized how everyone around me had formed their little gang while I was stuck as being the third wheel. I often felt hurt and forgotten when I looked at everyone’s Instagrams and saw how much fun everyone had each Saturday night with their friends. Worst part, because of my desire for close friends, I’d often drown myself in the ghosts of my past and stain all the social progress I’ve made. I guess building great, long-lasting friendships is a born skill that I don’t have. But then, I realized something important. When I thought of writing this reflection, I could’ve just sat around and bitch about how I never got what I wanted. But I ain’t gonna do none of that. Instead, I’ll take my lemons and make them lemonades.
Looking back on what happened in my last three years, there ain’t nothing I’d like to change. If it weren’t for my loneliness, I’d never make an effort to write for the newspaper. If I’d never taken an extra year at Vanier, I guess I would be able to become editor-in-chief. If I’d never become editor-in-chief, I guess I wouldn’t meet the amazing folks and be the person I am today.
I had some rough moments throughout my time here at Vanier. I made some mistakes and things that I ain’t proud of. I’ve made some friends and lost those who were close to me along the road. My heart has been hurt and bruised more times than I can count. There were so many things that brought me down. Unlike what happened in high school, I managed to pick myself up. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth the extra pain. I don’t recall how many times I almost gave up in the last couple of months and thought of quitting life. But just thinking of what I’ve accomplished, the people I’ve touched, and how much I can still achieve it outweighs all the wrongs I did. Somebody recently made me realize that I wasn’t the kid I was four years ago. I won’t be able to change the regrets of my life. All I can do is accept what happened in the past and focus on what I can do today to improve my future. The light at the end of the tunnel starts by becoming your own torch. I guess what I’m trying to say is all the “failures” I collected in my life are making me a better man. I couldn’t have realized any of this without everyone I’ve met in my life.
Whether you are an executive of the Insider, friends that go or went to Vanier, friends I’ve made outside of Vanier or folks at my St-Hubert and Espace Transition, I want to thank you for giving me an unforgettable experience. Thank you for accepting me and making me realize who I am today. This article is for you. As much as it pains me to admit, I know we won’t cross paths again for a long time, but I know that as long as the Earth stays round, we’ll see each other again someday. Until then, I hope whenever you’ll be thinking of me, you’ll remember all the good times we shared together and how much change I’ve been able to accomplish for our community.
The hardest thing you’ll ever have to write is confronting who you are and making peace without yourself. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I don’t know how many dark clouds will still have my name on them or how long this Lonesome Jack will stay lonely. But I know that I have the power and strength to brave through any hurricane on my journey. It will be far from easy, but wisdom is the graduation from hell. As I saddle up and prepare to ride out into the sunset, with a tear flowing down my cheek, I can’t help but take a final look at Vanier College – the school that is my hometown.