I always hear a lot of clichés around the time another school year comes to a close. “Thanks for the memories,” “It’s been real,” “It’s been a life-changing year,” “As we go on, we remember all the times we had together,” (shout out to Vitamin C for that last one and for making my sixth grade graduation extra special). But, at the end of another school year, especially as we approach true adulthood and the years that we’ll spend in school are on the verge of running out, I think we owe each curtain call more than a simple “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
People can grow so much in just one year of college. Whether this was your first year as a Colorado State University Ram or it was your very last, this is what I hope for you as you head out for summer and look back at all the life in your year(s) here:
I hope you can look back on the stuff you did that made you really, really proud and genuinely believe that your efforts are worthwhile and important. On the flipside, I hope you can look back on the stuff that you should probably never do or talk about again and laugh with the kind of forgiveness and wisdom that can only be found through experience.
I hope pieces of all the amazing and memorable things that happened still resonate within you, like the roar of the crowd at a Rocky Mountain Showdown, how starstruck you were the first time you high-fived Cam the Ram, the first time you really felt like you belonged here, the first time you questioned every single choice you’ve made in your life up until now, the time you promised yourself you were never drinking again but ended up laugh-crying through a hangover twice as bad as the one that sparked that promise, the times you went out of your way to make someone smile, the time you stayed up until 4 a.m. having the most honest conversation that you and your roommates ever had, the best and loudest laughs, the exhausting drama, all the times you felt lost and all the times you were found. I hope you actively search for unforgettable moments to hold onto for those tough days in the future that make you feel like revisiting your past.
Lastly, I hope you always remember how eager, excited, capable, strong and invincible that you feel right now, during your “glory years.” Because someday, years down the road, you may start to lose sight of those feelings as they get muddled by a real job with strenuous hours, two screaming kids who a couple years back you honestly couldn’t see yourself having, loss, grief, financial hardships — just life, in general. I hope the lessons you have learned here are making you a better person, I hope you are proud of yourself, I hope you are excited to see all the places your inner compass will lead you and I hope that when life gets really tough, you know that you always have the choice to be tougher.
So, at the end, whether you will be returning next fall or are on your way to bigger things, I hope you say your bittersweet goodbyes with gratitude and contentment to the people and the places here at CSU that opened your mind and helped you grow.
Collegian Assistant Opinion Editor Haleigh McGill wishes everyone a rad summer of brave adventures. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.