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  • Khalil Gordon, Opinion Editor

Mission 100 Days: A semi-organized mess of thoughts

Gordon and Griffin Managing Editor April Vega in their wild Frisch Hall habitat three years ago. (Khalil Gordon)

By Khalil Gordon, Class of 2022

Editor’s Note: Mission 100 Days, an annual series of reflections by graduating seniors, kicks off with Khalil Gordon, a friend and my predecessor as Opinion Editor.

I was talking to a friend last night, and when the topic of my 100 days article came up, I was forcibly made to confront a thought that had somehow not occurred to me before this: “Wow, I remember having to edit these during my sophomore year”. I was looking through all these stories about seniors who had such seemingly storied connections with each other, but who I did not personally know or care very much about. Now I am one of those seniors, and there’s some sophomore out there who is gonna read this without ever having known me. It’s a bit daunting to think about.

I ended up at Canisius because it was one of only a handful of schools that offered an Animal Behavior program, and of the ones that accepted me it was the cheapest option. I wasn’t thrilled to be here like a lot of you might be. For the earlier parts of my Freshman year, I was still a pretentious high schooler who found the course work to be beneath him. So, as opposed to devoting myself wholly to my school work, I decided to focus my college experience on improving in the area I lacked the most: emotional awareness.

I had a pretty turbulent childhood. I was constantly switching schools and caretakers; so by the time I hit my teenage years I was pretty emotionally closed off. Not to say that I didn’t have friends, I certainly did and we still hangout regularly, butI had a hard time becoming legitimately invested in my own interests, let alone other people’s.

This is where Canisius’ small size really comes into play. Despite the massive dent in my pocket because of it, the dorm experience is not something I would have ever traded; I believe it is absolutely essential to the college process. Being constantly forced to interact with the same people over and over again, 24/7, for years brute forced me into taking an interest in them. Inversely, it also forced them to take an interest in me. The friends I made in my freshman year have been some of the biggest influences on my character to date and I could not be more grateful to them.

Outside of my immediate friend group though, I had a lot of social experiences for the first time in college that often seem to be more associated with high school. I had my first kiss, got into my first (and second) relationship, had my first (and second) heartbreak, had my first friend group dissolve over petty drama, etc. I’ve had a pretty good mix of good and bad stuff happen to me and through it all I have been able to come to understand myself better than had I not experienced any of it.

Understand that a lot of this growth happened over the course of years. When I started I despised being touched, it made me feel like I couldn’t breathe and that continued up until the start of my junior year. When you’re trying to succinctly remember your entire college history however, details like that are inevitably overlooked.

I’m out of practice when it comes to writing articles, so I apologize if this one was a cluttered mess. People always ask me why I went to Canisius, and I always give the same answer: “I applied for ABEC, and while I’m no longer an ABEC major, I stayed because I truly believe I am a better person for having gone here.” If you’ve kept up with my articles over the years then thank you. If this is your first time hearing of me then thank you for reading to the end. I’m in a very good spot right now. I learned a lot of lessons about openness and compromise during my time here and I feel confident in my ability to navigate life much more than I did coming in. When in doubt, end article!

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