After interesting journey, staffer ready to graduate


What are my final thoughts as I prepare to graduate? Wait … what? I’m graduating? Whoa. OK, now that I have given it a moment to sink in, I will cut to the chase; I am not too sure what to say here. I just know that I was asked to write a column about graduating college, so here I am, attempting to do just that. Problem is, I find the flickering lights on my Christmas tree and my dick-cat, I mean, my cat whose name is Dick, more interesting than reading any of the many ridiculous thoughts that come from my head.

See, I had an adolescence marred with trouble, sometimes deserving and sometimes not, a slew of poor, yet fun, decisions, and a whole mess of parents and teachers who never thought I’d amount to anything. I can remember those proclamations from my younger days, I’m still young, actually—that went a little something like: “That Aaron DuRall, he’s just never going to do anything with his life. Don’t be like him.” 

I guess maybe at that point in time, you know, when I was all of 15 or 16 years old, they were right. However, while they were doubting me and making lame assumptions, I was accumulating little golden nuggets of spite — spite nuggets that would eventually blossom into a beautiful symphony of drive and determination.  

That spite, drive and determination, along with my awesome wife and family’s encouragement, would push me into enrolling at Missouri Southern State University for the spring semester of 2007. Of course, that enrollment was just a ploy. A ploy to earn a degree, so when that degree came, I could send out hand-written letters to each of my doubters that would say: “Suck. My. Butt.” 

Crazy thing is, now that the day is upon me to earn that degree, I no longer care about sending out those letters, the reason being, I just simply don’t care that people once doubted me — we will all face that our whole lives. It’s what we do in the face of doubt that matters. 

My journey from a rowdy, trouble-making teenage boy to becoming a responsible, hard-working young man has been similar to my time at Southern. There have been ups and downs. I can tell you, however, those ups and downs have been absolutely incredible and have shaped me into the human being I am today. 

I got the chance to fulfill the opportunity of a lifetime right here at MSSU. I received a top-notch education from teachers who have literally changed my life.

Thank you to my wife and family for pushing me. Thank you to my peers and teachers who have become my friends. Thank you to my brothers and sisters on The Chart. Thank you to those who always believed in me despite my “wild” youth. Thank you to the government that provided the opportunity for a poor kid like me to get a college education. Thank you to MSSU for giving me the best college experience I could ever ask for. And, last, but certainly not least, thank you to anyone and everyone who ever doubted me. You provided some great motivation. And, you know what? Oh, what the hell … I will just drop it for good measure – Suck. My. Butt. I’m graduating!