I’ve been overwhelmed with schoolwork, with weeks when I had to read more than 300 pages of academic text. When I’ve had to write articles and edit still more articles. When I’ve had projects due at work and not enough sleep to do them well. I’ve been insecure and lonely and overwhelmed by the emptiness that is trying to find whatever great epiphany that you’re supposed to find in your twenties.
But far more often, I’ve been overwhelmed by other people. The kindness of complete strangers who have offered me an umbrella when it’s raining, by people who have told me they liked my smile, my outfit, the Legislative Digest. By the compassion of my friends, who have listened to me and supported me and valued me. By my professors, bosses and coworkers who listen to my thoughts and who are honest with me in turn.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the editorial staff my three years with The Collegian. They’ve taught me that you can disagree with your friends, argue passionately about important things, and still respect each other and each others’ opinions. I don’t think I knew that was an option before college.
The writers taught me so much about being passionate about writing, so much about the world around us and the way that I experience it, about my privilege and my missed opportunities. Every week is a new chance to learn, a new chance to fall in love with life again. The news is bad a lot of the time, I know. It’s scary out here. But people still care, and there are still good things to balance out the bad, too. Some days, an article I’ve read (or many of them) have reminded me that there are things to care about and cherish, even if it didn’t feel like it ten minutes ago.
All farewell letters are love letters at heart. This one is a love letter to anyone who cares so deeply they can feel it in their throat, that it’s a second shadow. This one is for everyone who’s so excited to share the fun and lightheartedness of happy news, and the people who care enough to report on the hard, the depressing and the daunting news, too. And, of course, for everyone who cares enough to read about our school and our world a couple times a semester. Thank you for joining me, for making this paper something to look forward to every week and for giving me an overwhelming optimism for the future.