Senior Send-off 2022: Justus O’Neil

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“Who am I?” I have spent the last four years of my life trying to answer that troubling question. Throughout these years, I had moments where I felt I had a clear answer and other moments where I felt more lost than ever before. With that being said, I have never stopped trying to find the answer.

Going into college, I had, what I thought was, a clear vision of the path I intended on taking. I enrolled as a Dean’s Scholar recipient in the pre-athletic training program at the University of Indianapolis. My parents were pleased and I thought I would be fulfilled. Fast forward a few months and I found myself nearly failing human anatomy despite my incessant studying. I had everything going for me: I had great roommates, a wonderful girlfriend, who’s now my fiancée, supportive parents and even professors that clearly wanted me to succeed. It was not more studying that I needed, it was motivation that I wasn’t finding in the subject, or even the path I was on at the time. I spent an afternoon in the Professional Edge Center and came to the conclusion that I needed to make a change before I got too far down a rabbit hole of coursework that I didn’t want to be in.

I decided that I would try out a few different courses and branch out the following semester. I enrolled in a number of courses my second semester as a freshman, but the one that changed the course of my college career was COMM 120: Applied Journalism. There, I would come to learn that I had a joy for connecting with people, building relationships and telling stories. I would then change my major to communication and spend five semesters of my remaining seven working for The Reflector

Spending time working for our student newspaper has been a defining aspect of my college experience, but the relationships I have made along the way is what made my experience positively special. From professors to classmates to roommates to friends, UIndy has graced me with more blessings than I can count. The volume of these blessings is short of nothing compared to the impact that they have had on my life. These people have led me down a path of self discovery and realization that has given me the confidence to step out of college and into the wider world. 

As I take my first step into this wider world, I feel as though I still can’t answer the question of who I am, except this question isn’t troubling anymore, it’s exciting. Every decision I make defines who I am more and more. Who I am right now is likely a completely different person compared to who I might be five years from now, but right now, I’m a Greyhound.

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