Senior Sendoff: Consent with Caitlin comes to a close

Trying to sum up four years of college in one little article is very hard, but not impossible. Photo courtesy of Elise Sparre; graphic by Haley Morkert. 


Content warning: Discussions about sexual violence.

It was the fall of 2018, “Mo Bamba” was shaking basements and I just sort of found myself in Indiana with one winter coat to my name and the incorrect assumption that Indiana is the north. 

I was starting my first year at Butler, a school that pulled me in with its paw-printed sidewalks, adorable mascot with his own fantastic marketing team and the enticing promise of a community that cares. With four years ahead of me, I was ready to begin a new life a little over 1,000 miles away from home, looking forward to any and all experiences this new city could offer. 

Through FYS and changing my major twice, I discovered that I actually enjoy writing. So, halfway through my sophomore year, I applied to the Butler Collegian; I thought it could be fun and would look good on my resume. 

I started off as a humble culture reporter, just trying to figure out how to write for a newspaper with absolutely no experience. I still remember the culture editors leaving comments on my story telling me I needed to tone it down, that opinions are for the opinion section. As it turns out, I’m not very good at keeping my thoughts to myself. 

After transferring to the opinion section, I felt revitalized. No opinion was too much. 

So I started writing about what I really care about: consent and sexual violence. With the help of my two amazing editors, I created my column, “Consent with Caitlin,” where they let me publish stories using words like “boinked” and “rubbing one out.” 

After almost a year of oversharing and trying my best to destigmatize sex-having, I decided on the ultimate over-share. I wanted to tell my own story with sexual violence.

Without the love and support of those two strong women, the best editors a girl could ask for, I don’t know that I would have ever found the courage to come forward with my story. 

But, the Collegian gave me a voice. My voice. 

Never did I think that I would share my story so publicly. I was humiliated and ashamed of my experience, yet I was also determined to speak up for not only myself but also for other survivors. 

This organization changed my life, and I am grateful everyday for it. 

If you had told first-year-me that I would be writing for the school newspaper, I probably would have laughed in disbelief. Writing every week for a club? Absolutely not. And yet here I am, co-editor of that very same “club,” and I love it.

I initially applied because I thought writing for the Collegian would be fun and it would boost my resume. I had no idea that I would become so invested and sucked into this publication. 

Now, I find myself surrounded by people who somehow still make me laugh during editing night, even when it’s desperately past my bedtime. I look forward to Mondays because I get to hang out with my co-editor and our reporters. I have found myself so enthralled in this organization that I kick myself for not joining sooner. 

However, now that I finally feel like I’ve settled into my little home-away-from-home, I have to say goodbye. 

To my first-year roommate and current managing editor, thank you for always believing me, for believing in me, and for introducing me to the Collegian even though I thought you were crazy for joining at first. I could not imagine my Butler experience without you and am forever grateful for your continual compassion. Even when you thought I was ridiculous for wanting to break out my winter coat for 50-degree weather.

Thank you to the most influential professor/academic advisor/thesis advisor. I didn’t realize how much I enjoy learning and being challenged before you. Thank you for being such a strong support system and for pushing me to be the very best version of myself — you are so cool and I can’t even put into words the impact you have had on my life. 

A round of applause for my silly little boyfriend; thank you for dealing with me publishing stories about sex and for being my friend throughout these four chaotic years. Congratulations on eventually winning me over and getting yourself outside of the “friend zone.” 

Lastly, thank you to my best friend. I never expected to learn how to use sugar wax or how to knit a blanket and then you showed up, and I’m so glad you did because it led to the eventual culmination of the “cactus jack” friend group and the many memories that followed. 

“Blink and it’s over.”

Time and time again, variations of that saying have been bestowed upon me — reminding me to see beauty, even in the common things of life. So, I tried. I tried to slow down time by taking in the scenery. Obviously a fruitless effort, but worthwhile either way because now I have little snippets of memories from my four years of college. 

College doesn’t go as fast as a blink of an eye, it’s more like a lot of blinking in a row. It’s still fast, but you get little glimpses of all the memories you made. And then it’s over.

Somehow, four years have passed since I first came to this campus. It’s now spring of 2022, “Mo Bamba” no longer shakes the basements, I have two winter coats and can correctly categorize Indiana as being in the Midwest. 

Now you’re trying to tell me I have to graduate and leave this constantly-flooding, goose-infiltrated, dog-loving, puddle of a campus?

In the wise words of Sheck Wes: “F*ck! Sh*t! B*tch!”


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