The Parthenon

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LET ME BE FRANK: One Last Time

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As my undergraduate career at Marshall University comes to a close, I pause to reflect on the few years I’ve spent as a student here. The experiences I’ve had, the relationships I’ve formed and the lessons I’ve learned have all worked to shape me into the person I am today. 

Almost two years ago, I started out as a reporter for The Parthenon, a necessary step toward my degree and something I dreaded. I ended up finding my place in storytelling and reporting, and applied for an editorial staff position, leading to my being the managing editor for the last year. 

One day, the Managing Editor at the time, my good friend Tom Jenkins, asked me to write a quick column piece for the day’s print editiona column that became my first of a longer series: Let Me Be Frank. In that first column, I wrote these words: 

“This phase is one of movement and of growth and uncertainty, but if we can embrace this uncertainty and embrace the change and challenges that come with it, we may just find that we are better for it on the other side of adversity.”

I can say that, in hindsight, I truly am better for all of it. And as I face the wave of uncertainty and change that comes with a new college degree, I can rest in the fact that, as history reveals in the pattern of my life, one day I will look back and say, “I’m better for it.” I think I’ll be okay.

These columns are really a gift for me, as I can look back and read through my own reflections and how I have processed this transformative period of life. I can see how I overcame bouts of depression and anxiety, how I worked to understand both falling in love and heartbreak. I am given insights into the ordinary moments of life, the small, daily events that contribute to my perspective. I can read on a page how important and beautiful friendship, community and faith have been in my life.

I’m nervous and excited, but more importantly, I’m ready. I’m ready for whatever life throws at me. Before I sign off, I want to remind myself and you: Lean on others. Pray often. Rest well. Read great stories. Live greater stories. Do it scared. Act justly. Love kindness. Walk humbly. Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Life is a beautiful thing–please don’t ever forget.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]

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