Saying goodbye is hard.
I recently graduated from Whitworth University.
I am currently dealing with the repercussions of leaving the city, the school and the people that I called home for over three years. I’m not sure I’m dealing with it well.
I looked online for advice. I googled “saying goodbye to college.” All of the responses I got related to leaving home for the first time to head off to college, great advice for parents and incoming freshman that I’m sure would have been helpful four years ago.
But where is the advice for now? Where is the helpful column with a list of things you can do so that you can preserve this moment, this time in your life where you know everything’s changing and nothing will ever be the same. Where you are both terrified and excited for the future. Where you know that everything in your life has led to this, and now you get to start living.
I didn’t find anything and I’m hardly qualified to be giving any of that advice, but I figured this would be an appropriate place to put those thoughts out.
Graduating a semester early means I had to start dealing with this earlier than most of my friends, and that’s hard.
I can console myself in a morbid sort of way by telling myself that they’ll understand shortly. They’ll get it. They’ll know what it means when I say I miss homework and papers and tests. I miss structure and the community that comes when you’re all working on the same doomed project that you’ll probably fail, but you’re doing it together.
People are leaving and people are staying in Spokane. I left already. Who knows where we’ll all end up six months from now, or two years from now when I’m finally home again.
This week on social media, I asked the question “To my friends that are graduating soon or have graduated recently, what is going to be the hardest thing to say goodbye to?” I’ve included some of the responses and some quotes that I found during my aforementioned google search throughout the piece.
After all this has been said, I’m not ready to say goodbye, so I’m not going to. I’m going to say see you later, and whether or not I do see you later doesn’t much matter. What matters is you played a role in an important part of my life. Our friendship, our experiences, they matter.
Whether I met you on move in day, in class, traditiation, maybe you lived in my hall or dorm, worked on my team, volunteered with me, served with me, ate with me, laughed with me, joked with me, stayed up absurdly late watching movies with me, got pie with me, laid under the stars with me, wandered around downtown with me, snuck in or out of my house with me, shopped with me, went on taco bell runs with me, talked about life with me, explored buildings with me, hiked with me, stumbled back to my house with me, watched GOT with me, snuggled with me, comforted me, supported me.
I had the time of my life in college and whatever experiences we had matter. So, it’s not goodbye. It’s see you later, and it’s hello, because we’re all off to begin our next adventure. That’s terrifying, but it’s also incredible.
So, see you later.