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before I go

April 20, 2011

Words, they are coming to me; I guess I will write them down.

Today I presented my honors thesis to the English department. Afterwords, the seven other honors students and some of our advisers went out for a fancy three-course dinner with wine to celebrate our accomplishment.

The thesis presentation was such a relief. I was so nervous, and then (I feel like) it went really well. Once it was over, I felt 100% better about my life.

The dinner was wonderful. The food was amazing; but more importantly, over the course of the meal I realized something that subconsciously I already knew: I am surrounded by such amazing people here. My peers are so intelligent, funny, caring, and just so fun to be around – and I wish, so badly, to have known them better. Because after dessert and coffee, I had the profound sensation of something incredibly important coming to a close. In everything but name, tonight was the night of my graduation.

I left the restaurant feeling sated both intellectually and physically. I was rushing to get to a mandatory end-of-year house meeting, but all of a sudden, I found that I was crying. All year I’ve been looking forward to commencement, beginning the next chapter in my life, but now that this one is over I feel there is so much I’ve left undone. There are so many wonderful people that I want to know better. There are so many regrets.

I don’t want regret in my life. It is the most unproductive emotion, with the most potential to damage future possibilities for happiness. So, based on the way I feel tonight, after a few glasses of wine and a looming moment of closure, I resolve to make the most of my last few weeks at Smith. Before tonight, I had dreams that once the thesis process was over I could wear pretty dresses and lay in the sunshine reading poetry – and that still sounds great – but I have a few new goals: now that it’s all ending, I want to make friends. If you’re reading this and you go to Smith, then yes, I do mean you. Look me up. I want to know you before I’m gone.

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