Student Finds Home at Mizzou
I was accepted to the University of Missouri on Sept. 16, 2008. I knew where I was to live for the first time not under my parents’ roof on April 4, 2009. I received my schedule of college classes on a hot Columbia day about two months later on June 12.
Honestly, all of this means nothing now, as it has no effect on my dwindling days in Platte City, but it will soon all become reality when I move into my MU dorm room two weeks from today.
Aug. 24 kicks off my career as a Missouri Tiger, and I can’t wait. Mizzou means lifetime to me — the school I will later call my alma mater. And of course that implies that I can someday down the road brainwash my kids to “fight for old Mizzou,” as my dad so kindly did to me. Platte City will always be my hometown. It will always be where I religiously attended “Friday Night Lights” football games as a kid, and for six magical nights last fall where I got to play under those same lights as a player.
It is the hard pavement and bumpy sidewalks that my bike traveled time and time again — until the day I upgraded from two wheels to four and traveled quite a bit faster.
Platte City is the place where girls first rocked my world, and the place where I realized I couldn’t live life without one — referring to my mother, of course. It is the town with the big orange water tower, the empty “attractions” sign on Exit 18 and the home to a thousand memories plus more. However, putting all these wonderful thoughts aside, Columbia has a blaring advantage. The land of black and gold has one thing Platte City can never offer me: a new start, a new chapter in my life. Mizzou means making decisions that decide the man I am going to be, and what better way to establish manhood than setting your roots in Mizzou?
Summer 2009 was nowhere remotely close to what I had imagined it to be (a huge understatement in itself), but was exactly what I knew it would be: a buffer from high school to college. I’ve fought my way — in more ways than you know — through the nearly 14 weeks of a long and tiresome summer. I spent time with friends, some of whom I can honestly say I will probably never see again. I clocked in my hours in the office —metaphorically speaking — making money that will surely be pumped into the economy in Columbia next year, and that I hope will last the whole year. I put in my time at Kauffman Stadium, 10 games to be exact, to root for my boys in blue — only to watch them lose all 10 games. Luckily, I’m still allowed inside the newly renovated “K.”
I actually picked up a book and read the whole thing. Here I come, college level English.
I spent time in the sun and, believe it or not, developed a pretty good tan. Two weeks ago, though, I got fried and my golden brown tan peeled away. I helped celebrate my grandfather’s surprise 70th birthday party. I will never forget the look on his face when he reached the top of the stairs and saw a room full of people he loves on his special day.
I had surgery on a bone spur only to find out that bone spurs are a little more stubborn than you think, and now I get to watch it grow back. I came within inches of breaking my first bone in my body doing something stupid... go figure.
I now know what it’s like to sleep in past noon for an entire week — the accomplishments just keep piling up.
Man, my May 9 graduation day sure seems like a distant date that has faded from memory. Not only was it, and I quote, “the last time your whole class will be in the same room,” but the first time, too, as 213 of us could not quite fit in Mrs. Bruce’s math class.
While Platte City managed to blend all of our lives together, I’m having doubts that the class of 2013 at Missouri will even get to know one-half of their classmates. Maybe I’m wrong.
However, one thing I do know is that Mizzou means more than college to me. It is more than Homecoming week and wearing black and gold. It is more than Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard. And, yes, it is more than hating/rooting against/despising Kansas... I guess. Mizzou is home for the next four years — at least — and it will be a good one. Memories will be created and lifelong friends will be met. And, most importantly (Mom and Dad), grades will be made.
Mizzou is where I’ll be, and to prove I’m not lying you can look for me in the student section of Faurot Field next year.
I’ll be the one wearing gold.
Mitch Stubbs is the son of Citizen owner/editor Lee Stubbs and a 2009 graduate of Platte County R-3 High School.
This article was originally published in The Platte County Citizen.