Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

2,103,840 minutes in Oxford

Abbey Elizondo, smiling as widely and glowingly as ever, stands in London at a train station.
Abbey Elizondo, smiling as widely and glowingly as ever, stands in London at a train station.

I remember the first time I set foot in Oxford, on a campus tour of Miami University. I was a sophomore in high school, the only one in the auditorium room full of juniors and seniors ready to move into the next phase of their lives. 

I was too scared to raise my hand when they asked if there were any sophomores in the crowd, gripping my notepad tight. Then they played a video, which I wish I could find on Miami’s YouTube channel, about how college is made up of 2 million minutes. 

My first thought: That number has to be wrong. My second thought: How would I know where I want to go to college yet? I was only 16 years old. 

And yet here I am, 22 years old, about to graduate with two degrees and 2,103,840 minutes of memories at a university two hours away from home and everything I knew. 

Over 150 visits to Western Dining Commons, Maple Street and Garden Commons to eat meals with people who would become close friends.

At least 5,000 hours spent in class, collaborating with my peers, rushing to complete assignments by our 11:59 p.m. deadlines.

I spent 700 or more hours reading creative submissions and student essays through organizations like Happy Captive Magazine and the Howe Writing Center.

I lived abroad for 1,176 hours in London, England, and I’m still convinced I never left. I wouldn’t have gone without my dad convincing me it would be life-changing. He was right.

Probably 50 or more Insomnia cookies consumed — thanks, Mom. 

Four years of memories at Miami have prepared me for the next phase of my life. 

Even if I said a million things, I’d still have a million more unsaid.

Oh, and I couldn’t forget about the countless hours I spent with The Miami Student. Another sophomore year experience — history does love to repeat itself — was when I met the editors of the school newspaper, Briah Lumpkins and Tim Carlin, at Mega Fair. 

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I still remember Briah’s smile when I approached the table, welcoming and curious about my interest in the organization. I had written for my high school paper and thought I could stretch my writing skills and learn from editors at The Student. 

From the first entertainment section meeting I attended, I felt this organization would have a greater impact on me than I could ever imagine. I enjoy being right and, thankfully, I was. I have written more than 40 articles for The Student, ranging from critical reviews of media to recommending recipes to columns on career advice in an ever-changing job market.

To David Kwiatkowski, one of the first people at The Student to compliment my writing and support any crazy pitch I had, thank you. To Maggie Peña and Sean Scott, two amazing and lovely people who let me criticize Marvel Studios for over a year, I owe you tickets to the next actually good Marvel movie. To Devin Ankeney, the hilarious editor who let me run with even more crazy ideas for opinion columns but also knew when to rein me in, thank you for pushing me as a writer. To everyone at The Student, you made this writer feel like she had a voice and a place on campus and, for that, I am eternally grateful. 

As I move on from red brick buildings and streets, I will keep those 2,103,840 minutes in Oxford close to my heart. The senior class of 2024 started college in one of the weirdest times of the 21st century, but I couldn’t be more proud of us for making it. 

I cannot wait to sit beside all of you at graduation, toss our caps and savor all the time we’ve spent learning, making mistakes, picking ourselves back up, creating friendships and achieving what we want out of life with supportive people by our sides. 

Love and Honor, from this Miami student to the next.