Well. This is my last night in my college room. My little shoebox in the on-campus apartments at Guilford College. The walls are bare. Almost everything is boxed up. I feel like I'm trying to cut myself off from my emotions, lest the floodgates open. I feel a deep sense of happiness, accomplishment (I'm graduating with high academic honors) and a real sense of relief. I'm ready to move on. And yet, I'm dogged by a feeling of sadness and nostalgia. I remember moving into my dorm for the first time. I was so nervous and excited. I really had no idea what was coming. I didn't know who I would meet, what I would learn, or whether or not I'd still be with my boyfriend come graduation. I didn't know I'd go to England, Italy, France and Germany. I didn't know I'd become an editor for the newspaper.
I cannot even begin to describe all the lessons (both academic and otherwise) that will be represented by that little piece of paper I'll be handed tomorrow. Guilford has been home to me. Guilford has shaped me. I think it's made me ready to make a new home, find a new calling. I may feel very green and unprepared for the "real world" still. On the other hand, I followed my gut when I chose to come here and I haven't been disappointed. Guilford has allowed me to honor my sense of passion and commitment ... a commitment to writing, creativity, excellence, hard work and meaningful relationships with others. For all its flaws (and issues that plague all institutions), I think I can safely say that Guilford has lived up to all it promised and more.
As for everyone who has supported me, I just can't thank you enough. Mom and Dad: thanks for everything, but most of all thank you for always, always telling me that I could be a writer and an English major if I wanted to. My favorite faculty (you know who you are): thank you for everything you taught me. David: thanks for just being you. My dear, dear friends: college would not have been the same without you.
I can only hope that whatever it is that led me here will continue to lead me on to equally wonderful things.
And that is that, ladies and gentlemen. I'm done with college.