Over the past year as the iPhone Guy columnist for the Mirror, I have grown in many ways: as a writer, as a student and also as a young man.  As your weekly columnist, I have striven to write about the issues that affect college students at Fairfield University from the perspective of a male.

It has been a long journey for me as a columnist, and now my time has come to an end.  Let this be my epitaph; the final thoughts of Joe McConville regarding what he has learned as the iPhone guy.

Let me give you a bit of the background of the topic-selecting process.  Each week, Blackberry girl and I would brainstorm and select a topic, then write from the general perspective of college students on this issue.  We tried, and hopefully succeeded, in finding topics that would be interesting to our audience, which is for the most part college students. However, this also includes my mother, who never fails to give me her own view point and then forward it to everyone in my extended family to discuss during holidays.  Nothing like talking to my grandmother about the clothes girls wear for nights out, while carving up the Thanksgiving turkey…

For one, learning to write my columns between dealing with my sometimes brutal hangovers and playing detective to discover the events of the weekend is a life skill that, unlike many weekends here, I will not soon forget.

But on a serious note, my opinion column is, to me, a position of great power. Though it may not seem like it to some, I consider it a leadership position amongst the students, one that I have been extremely proud of and one that has begun to define how I look at myself.  The main goal of my opinion column was to sometimes piss people off and to invite change in both the administration and student body.  On some columns I succeeded and others I did not, seeking instead to make people laugh.  I love making people laugh.  Apparently its some skill I have – or so I’m told.

If people remained complacent and did not voice their opinions in forms of media, our world could be drastically different.  Had someone not gotten upset with the injustice of Britain in the 1770s, perhaps we would still be a colony and not a country whose ultimate ideals are based on the basic rights of free speech and the pursuit of one’s own happiness.

Now before I am accused of comparing Fairfield to a tyrannical, oppressive government, let me say that this is by no means a dig on the administration or any connection to Fairfield.  Please God, I can’t fit any more angry emails, meetings, and/or death looks into my already packed schedule of stupid core classes.  My GPA and I have never wanted to get back to classes that relate to my major so badly.

So I challenge of you, my readers, as well as my successor, to get into trouble.  Make mistakes.  Be light, be stupid, be young.  You only live once.  Make an impact on your school, community, your world.  Do something!  Write! Yell!  Sing!  Dance!  Stand on your head!  Whatever ignites the passion in you that is the desire to DO.  Don’t let the fear of what is unknown stop you from doing something, for the fear can cut you deeper than anything the world can throw at you.  “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself; but by your estimation of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”  These are the words of Marcus Aurelius and the final thoughts I leave you with.  I thank you all for reading my columns over this year and helping me grow as an individual.

Inspire change and don’t let life live you.

– Sent from my iPhone

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