Graduation is a time of both looking to the future and the past — one looks forward at whatever will follow, jobs, grad school or otherwise, but we also often look back at the so-called lessons we learned along the way After four years working for the Exponent, writing columns for every section except sports, editing articles, distributing issues and selling advertisements, it’s finally time to say goodbye.
One of the first things I learned about writing is that someone has always said it before and said it better. With that in mind, I decided it would be fitting to go out sharing the knowledge of the anime series that defined my life’s philosophy as an adult, the spectacularly exhilarating masterpiece of the mecha genre, “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.” Here are some quotes that exemplify some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my university years:
“Kick logic out and do the impossible; that’s the Team Gurren way!”- Kamina
There is always adversity in front of us, whatever we set our sights on. There’s always a nasty class to surpass in order to get your degree, a seeming-impossibility of getting the right job or grad school or an especially suave gentleman you have to wrestle the cute girl at the bar’s attention from. It’s a cliche to say this, but you can’t let “impossible” be a part of your vocabulary. If it’s something you truly desire, then throw all your might at it and never give up.
“I can’t know about somebody who isn’t here, but, you shouldn’t depend on people who aren’t here either.”- Nia Teppelin
People in our lives come and go. It’s an unfortunate, stinging truth. Sometimes we come to depend on them and keep holding onto them after they leave our lives. It is a damaging notion to hold on to these people. It holds you back from your own progression through life, and closes one off to opportunities with new people.
“He’s gone! But he’s right there on my back, and here in my heart! He lives on as a part of me!”- Simon
Just the same, we should never forget the impact those people who are gone left on our lives, and the things they taught us. My roommate summed it up perfectly in a nugget of wisdom he often shares: “Even if you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
“We evolve beyond the person that we were a minute before. Little by little we advance with each turn. That’s how a drill works!”- Simon
Never stop moving forward and never stop progressing. There are always better things ahead in life if one wills them to happen and puts in the effort to make a change. To stop moving forward is to sell yourself, and your future, short.
“Get going Simon, and don’t be distracted by the what-ifs, should-ofs, and if-onlys. The one thing you choose for yourself, that is the truth of your universe.”- Kamina
Your life is what you make it. There are all too many things that can distract you, but you have to resolve to not let outside elements define you, but instead choose your own path and identity. This is probably the single most important lesson I took away from “Gurren Lagann,” and if you take nothing else away from this article, remember this quote.
Looking back on my time at the Exponent, I can say this was the single most consistent and rewarding part of my college experience. Through numerous living situations, friend circle turnovers, trainwreck relationships, varying classmates and professors, this student newspaper remained right there; taking my contributions and appearing on stands with a new edition every Thursday morning. I’ve garnered my fair share of hate mail over the years, especially from those offended by my disdain of my rural upbringing, but I’ve also received a lot of praise for my columns. It’s both the haters and the praise that made me the happiest in this job.
I have great faith that my editorial successor, Logan Henke, will continue to bring a thought-provoking, entertaining section in the coming year. I want to extend my utmost thanks to the Exponent’s readers and talented staff; I hope you all enjoyed my work as much as I enjoyed creating it. Peace out, Bob-kittens.
P.S. Go watch “Gurren Lagann.”