Stay strong till the very end

Beau Bilinovich, Development Editor

Well, here we are: the end of the semester and another year at Case Western Reserve University. As I’m sure most people can relate to, this semester has been one long, arduous battle. Homework has kept us cooped up in our rooms and exams have challenged our very sense of being. Before college, we were never told how much an excellent education would test patience. But we all find a way around the stress to discover our special place in the world. And I have, too.

I often struggle with thinking of interesting opinions that are worthy of being published. When our opinion editor Karuna asks me for a pitch, I typically have no idea what to send her. What opinions could I possibly have that people will want to read? What is even worthy of being published? These questions were in my mind when I wrote this article.

When I joined The Observer in the fall of 2020, I came from a speech and debate background. I was part of my high school’s Congressional Debate team, so I had become accustomed to framing arguments in a logical, precise way. That background is immediately obvious looking at my older articles, where I attempted to create some unbeatable argument about the controversial political event of the week.

Over time, I stepped away from that kind of thinking, branching out into other subjects—focusing more on the university and surrounding community, and, more recently, exploring the struggles of college living, mental health and personal expectations. I believe the latter has been my saving grace, the one thing I’ve always wanted to do but never fully understood. My articles have become an expressive outlet for me. I think I’ve finally found my place, and I’m happy about the progress I’ve made. I will be a fourth-year in the fall, so I’m excited to continue exploring this side of my writing. There is still so much more for me to learn.

Aside from writing, I can think of many other saving graces.

Music has been a light shining through the darkness. As small as it may seem, I’m always eager to share a little bit of my musical taste in our weekly editorial board Spotify playlist. Certain songs carry a special meaning for me but there are others that I simply like listening to. Porter Robinson—a very talented electronic dance music artist and one of my all-time favorites—has helped me get through the worst of this year. I find so much comfort in his music and I’m glad that I get to listen to it. His newest album, “Nurture,” is phenomenally beautiful and I highly recommend it if you haven’t already listened.

I’ve also found happiness in the fun moments that I spend with my friends. My roommates and I have been watching “The Last of Us” on HBO, written and produced by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, the creator of the award-winning video game of the same name and the creator of “Chernobyl” on HBO, respectively. Both Druckmann and Mazin are fantastic writers with amazing creative visions. The series has allowed the 30 million viewers of the first season to experience the lives of the original characters in an entirely new way. I have fallen in love with the show and cherish the sweet moments between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and his adopted daughter, Ellie (Bella Ramsey). 

Small moments like this—watching a show with my friends—have kept me steady despite the stress of college. It has given me something to look forward to in the hope that, even if other parts of my life aren’t going so well, I can count on another episode of my favorite show or my favorite artist’s music to brighten my mood. It helps me look forward instead of down. I hope that whoever is reading this has found those rocks in their lives. Make sure to keep them in your back pocket because you might need to rely on them sometimes. 

This is not my final farewell—at least not yet. I still have one more year left and many more opinions and explorative pieces to publish. I will still be working for The Observer, making my weekly trek to the University Media Board office to work on the paper with the rest of the editorial board. And I still have so much to learn and experience.

However, for my friends on the paper who will be graduating soon–and all other seniors–this is a final farewell. I am so glad to have been able to work with you these past couple of years, and I wish you the best of luck out there in the real world. I hope that those of us remaining on the editorial board can keep this paper as alive as it has been since the beginning. 

As this academic year comes to a close, remember to stay strong until the very end. Final exams will be stressful, but take each day as it comes. Eventually, you will reach the end. Hang out with your friends, watch your favorite show and listen to your favorite music—anything that keeps you steady. When you reach the culmination of your journey, you will realize every little setback and the successes that moved you forward made you stronger than you thought. For that alone, you deserve a million congratulations.