Stop taking yourself so seriously. No really. Stop it. Look, I know you feel like everything you do now will reverberate down through the decades and color your entire life, but guess what? You’re going to have babies and do other cool things that have nothing to do with the fact you slept through introductory geology on Friday morning. Believe me. I oughta know.
See, that fiasco the spring semester of junior year? The one that feels like it has ruined everything? It didn’t. Thirteen years later it barely registers, except as a stressful memory and a good life lesson in tying up all loose ends yourself. Same with winter semester, senior year. Older, wiser, etc.
Consider this: take a semester off from the college paper. I know, I know, The State News is awesome, the best college paper in the country, but three straight years is an awful lot of Chinese food and late nights wrestling with the file server and harassing college administrators for quotes between classes. It won’t ruin your journalism career to take a semester off and, I don’t know, work at the library or something.
Go to more of those seminars and lectures and fun, interesting things advertised on flyers and on the walkways in sidewalk chalk. You’ll miss the opportunity someday.
Also, say what you want to say more often. You know what I’ve figured out? If you say it politely, and with respect, you really can speak your mind and people won’t hate you. And if they do, well, they probably hated you anyway and were waiting for a reason to show it. Or they’re bastards. Whatever.
Final thought: plan for your future, but you might want to consider the fact that your life doesn’t go exactly according to script. And though it won’t always seem that way at the time, this is a good thing. Trust me.