Portney’s Complaint

Portneys Complaint

Portney’s Complaint

Devon Portney

As I prepare to graduate from this academically fulfilling, yet often maddeningly bureaucratic institution, I find myself seriously considering my future. Not that I’ve never considered my future before, but now I’m considering it in reality, a much different frame of mind, I assure you.

All of the rants I have shared, the righteous political messages I’ve hammered into you again and again in the hopes that the notions will stick, now have to mean something. I know must prove to you and to myself that I can do more than just dish it out-I must practice what I preach.

The reality of life beyond college is that we have to descend from our lofty positions as politically charged, socially involved students, and sink into the doldrums of adult life. Most of us already pay bills, et cetera. But now we have to think about buying property, owning a car, keeping a job, seeking a better job and all the while keeping our sanity. Sometimes the righteous indignation of college students becomes nothing more than the every day stress of the professional adult.

So I will make this, my last opportunity to impart my wisdom (so to speak) on the UMass Boston community, a plea to you all. My hope is that as you embark into the “real world,” keep in mind that it is still the world you’ve always hated yet could never get enough of in college. The world will stay the same; it is your place in it that evolves. Once you immerse yourself in the world of professionals, you’ll see that the trademark haughty political and social indignation of the student wears away.

Everyone has worked very hard while at school. We have jobs, take care of families, and somehow make time for classes and studying. Your career is your reward, yet it brings with it the complications of real life, and it is easy for us to lose sight of what is truly important. As students we live slightly more idealistically, and we have passion, and spunk. We absorb everything we see, read and hear. We compare information from all three sources and debate it amongst each other, often in classes. We are engrossed in the issues of the world around us, and we develop strong convictions about these issues.

My parents’ generation of the ’60s was the last time the citizens of this country truly rose as a mass, and stood up for its beliefs. They had absorbed what they saw, read and heard. They demanded answers from their leaders. They changed the dynamic of American society forever.

While many social movements still exist today, the intensity of the ’60s has never again been reached. Our parents care, but they have careers, and families, and homes, just as we are about to have. And life can get in the way of social ideals, it happens.

It is my wish that our generation doesn’t lose that passion for knowledge and understanding, and withdraw into a career driven bubble. While we evolve into our professional adult selves, I hope we can remain empathetic to causes, even if they don’t directly affect our personal lives. I hope we remain thirsty for knowledge, that we continue to ask questions, and continue to demand answers.

So long, fellow graduates. I’ll see you on the other side.