Just Say “Yes” To All The Places You’ll Go

I have to say that during my freshman year of college here, I was pretty intimidated by the overwhelming amount of things that happen at SUNY Oswego. I came from a high school that was connected to its middle and elementary school and graduated in a class of 61 people. The only thing I ever participated in besides academics in high school was drama club. It was definitely worth it. I was able to snag two lead roles in that time and know the ways to make a proper performance.

When I first came to SUNY Oswego, I knew I wanted to do more. And everyone that I had talked to about college had told me to get involved in things besides academics. From the start, I joined The Oswegonian newspaper and a few clubs but only went to their general interest meetings and then fizzled out over the next few weeks.

Over the last year or so, I’ve just begun to notice just how much SUNY Oswego can do for someone and where it can take them. I made it a goal of mine last year to not say “no” to things so suddenly when they come up. There were a lot of opportunities that came up that I simply refused and others thought, “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it.”


That changed last year and it has rewarded me ever since. One of my favorite things to do is travel. I’ve been to almost half of the U.S. states and have seen some wonderful sites of North America and close to home in New York State. I befriended the president of the history club last year and she told me over winter break that the club was going to Washington, D.C. later that spring. She knew I was a huge history buff and asked if I might want to go. I had wanted to go to Washington, D.C. since I was in fifth grade. I wanted to see the Washington Monument and the original Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, along with all the spectacular monuments. This was one of those “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it” moments. But then I went…


It was one of the best trips I’d taken in years and was everything that I expected it to be. I also met some people that became my best friends this year and became a full time member of the history club. We are going to Philadelphia in April, another place I’ve always wanted to go. The whole trip just opened my eyes as to what I had the ability to do now.

In November of this year, I was told about “Alternative Spring Break” that SUNY Oswego offers. I’d heard about it before, where students have volunteered to go down to New Orleans to help in the still on-going repairs from Hurricane Katrina. I was told that the trips this year were going to Mississippi, Alabama, and Iowa. I thought, “Well, I’ve never been to those states before” and I love helping people so for only $150, I was gladly able to jump on that band wagon. I was placed in the Alabama group, which is volunteering for Habitat For Humanity and I leave for that in just a few days.


I’m hoping to go international next year, whether it be the international trips that Alternative Spring Break offers or a Communications quarter class where students can go to Paris or London over spring break.

I never even imagined I’d be doing any of these things during my college years. I’ve come to realize that now is when I have the time, the expenses are right, and the overall experience is always worth it. SUNY Oswego and college itself offers so much to do in a little four year span. All you have to say is “Yes.” In terms of my joy of traveling, it’s a wonder to think of all the places I’ve gone and all the places I might go, all because I decided to go to SUNY Oswego.



About the Author

Luke Parsnow is a senior, double majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing and minoring in History with a concentration in American. He is the News Editor and weekly writer for The Oswegonian, the student newspaper of SUNY Oswego, as well as a Student Blogger for the school's website. He has interned at The Legislative Gazette in Albany and The OSWEGO Alumni Magazine. He is currently interning for WRVO Public Media. Luke is also a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter and travels with two bands to play venues from central New York and Canada to western Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Email: lparsnow@oswego.edu | Website: http://lukeparsnow.wix.com/lukeparsnow
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