Sunday, January 26, 2014

...And Reality Sets In

By Tyler Dunahee

Well Christmas Break was much needed, and definitely went too fast for me, as I’m sure it did for most students.  Over break I spent most of my time working at my part-time job at Kohl’s, trying to make what I could over break, however, working so much left me little time to really get as much of a jump on thesis work as I would have liked. I borrowed 4 books from Morris Library related to my thesis immediately after finishing up the semester, only to pick up and skim through two of the books that I had planned on reading thoroughly. 
As classes started up on Monday, January 13th, reality set in, this is my last true semester of college, and after 18 years of going to school this is it, the final stretch.  As I’m working on and finishing up my thesis, I’ll be looking for my first job in a firm, the first step in what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life, no pressure.  I’ll likely be leaving the comforts of southern Illinois, where I’ve spent my entire life (twenty years in Centralia, and the better part of the last four in Carbondale) for who knows where, this is the first time in my life that my future has been so up in the air and I felt as if I haven’t had much control with how things end up, which bothers me more than you can probably imagine.  I have my fingers crossed that I get something lined out before graduating in August (fingers crossed). 
Anyway, as I settle back into the realities of class, I don’t feel too overwhelmed with my classes, I hope to stay ahead in my online class, leaving just the Arch. History, Pro Practice, and Thesis classes to be concerned with, which is still quite a workload, especially considering my third job (landscaping) starts back up in March.  Thesis work will by and large be the most demanding work, however, I’m very passionate about my thesis work, as it deals with ways to help save my town from dying, formulated through a few “big ideas” and research. 
Social media has helped me in a big way already, there are two Facebook groups that deal with Centralia, ‘Save Centralia’ has over twenty-six hundred members and ‘You Know You’re From Centralia When..’ has nearly four thousand. I have shared my thoughts and gathered opinions and ideas from those who are in those groups, the majority of which still live in Centralia and care greatly that it gets turned around, back into the healthy, beautiful community it once was.  A number of people reached out to me offering their assistance in any way possible, one of which ended up on my thesis committee, his expertise in city planning and knowledge from a former position with the City of Centralia will be of the greatest value to my project.

I’m looking forward to seeing my project progress, as well as see the progress of my classmates.  And for the students out there, good luck to you this semester as well.

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