From the editor:

Best-laid plans

Jan. 4, 2017 

10…nine…eight…seven…six…five… “An error occurred loading this content. Try again later.” My friends and I were streaming the NYC ball drop on New Year’s Eve when inexplicably in the middle of it, the feed dropped and we got that message. I’m not joking. In a year that was challenging for many of us in the room, we didn’t even get the satisfaction of bidding 2016 goodbye in the traditional way. Instead, we looked at each other, laughed, took photos of the message (what’s a funny story these days without capturing it for social media), raised our glasses and wished each other a Happy New Year. It seemed like the perfect end to a somewhat crazy and unpredictable year. 

Television screen

When you think about it, what year isn’t a bit crazy and unpredictable? Even when you think you have everything planned, nothing is a given. Four years ago today, I was a day away from leaving on an incredible Spartan storytelling adventure that took me literally around the world. Ten years ago today, I was a day away from having a hunk of technology put in my chest to keep my heart beating normally. Three years ago today, I was thanking that hunk of technology for shocking me back to life two days prior.

Sure, the trip was scheduled, but it wasn’t like I could really plan for anything that happened those eight weeks. And the medical stuff? I had in no way planned on either of those things happening. To paraphrase my favorite Scottish poet Robert Burns, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

My colleague had a best-laid plan to have her daughter on Dec. 27. That was the doctor’s plan and arrangements were made. While her family was ready to go, the tiny bundle of joy was not. She decided she would rather wait until 2017 to make her grand appearance and was born on New Year’s Day. Best-laid plans…

No matter how awry things go, true Spartans roll with the punches. When we get knocked down, we get up and keep going. When we aren’t sure of the future, we attack every new opportunity with gusto. Change of plans? No worries, Spartans can adapt and succeed. Sometimes, an unanticipated change ends up being better than the original plan.

Hannah Piper is a senior from Midland who is majoring in animal sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and minoring in defense studies and leadership. Four years ago, she had zero plans to jump out of airplanes for career development, raise a service dog, go to Kenya or join the military. Yet, thanks to what she calls “unpredictable and far-reaching” opportunities as a student at MSU, that’s exactly what she’s doing today. Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Learning to lead, to learn more about this determined and inspirational Spartan.

No one can predict the future, but Rachel Croson, dean of the College of Social Science, is poised to take her college to the next level of success. She began her tenure as dean in August and like all good Spartans, jumped right into working hard, collaborating with others and finding ways to make an impact. Read her FACULTY VOICE: A note from the dean, to learn more about her experiences and her plans for the future of the college.

You never really know what a new year will bring. But some things are a given. As Spartans, we know that we will never give up. Spartans will always be looking to find the next cure, invent new technology, solve formidable problems, teach new generations, create inspiring art and change the world for the better. You can plan on that. Spartans Will.  

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Top photo by Derrick L. Turner; second photo by Aimee Brasseur