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Life in the Vacuum

By: Julian Traas

I know you, if you don’t know me. At the very least, you’ve seen my face, or I’ve waved to you, as we’ve passed each other in the halls of Alpharetta.

I served as Secretary of the first Student Government Association on this campus. I’m sure you didn’t know that. If you did, it’s because I was pushing something at you to sign—my proposal to lower the cost of Scantrons, probably. You’re welcome, by the way. No, it’s cool. They’re not low enough yet, but it’s a start. See, I believe in the power of action. If I sit and sullenly stare, and silently complain to myself about how lousy this place is, I am doing myself a disservice. So I don’t do that.

In early October 2010, then Coordinator of Student Life, Ms. India Myers, spotted me in the hall as she was hanging up notices about Student Government. After a brief conversation, I promised I’d look into the matter and give it some consideration. Secretly—I was a different man then—I thought, “What have I done?” But after a while, in all sincerity, I understood that joining SGA gave me many talents. I was forced to become confident, extraverted, and assertive. These qualities blended with my natural meekness, and soon Julian 2.0 was born. Therein is the great tragedy I see every day at Alpharetta. Far too few are taking advantage of the leg up offered me. I am most certainly not better than you! So how did I get away with this? How am I one of a mutilated-sailor’s-handful who’s served in Student Government? How am I Managing Editor of this student paper for my campus? What’s so truly phenomenal about me? In my opinion, I am not a genius. Some people call me smart, but I tell them that my secret is a simple one: effort. I try and try. I bleed for everything I do.

Alpharetta, my friends, has changed and is changing. A year ago, it didn’t possess half the amenities it does today. A year before that, it possessed almost nothing. Imagine where we’ll be a year from now. Half of us will be gone by then, I know. This place is imperfect but, people, your lives are what you make of them. Alpharetta will be as useful as you want it to be. Please start reading the flyers! The Office of Student Life and others spend hours hanging that stuff. Watch the ads running on that flat screen in the lobby (yeah, it is a pain in the neck). Stop by Ms. Myers’ office. Talk to your professors after class, just for a few minutes. Maybe one of them is starting up a club that you’d be interested in joining? Maybe you have a killer idea, yourself?

We all have lives to live, but a few minutes a day is a small price for discovering something to enjoy. You know what the great part about going to school in a vacuum is? You can create anything you please.


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