Dear University of Arizona,
Goodbye is a hard word to say, especially if you have lived similarity to me and have moved around a lot. Goodbye is scary; it carries a stronger weight than most words. But of course, goodbye is meant to be frightening, it means it is the end of a chapter and a new beginning for another. But what exactly is in store for my next start? With graduation less than three weeks away I continuously find myself asking that question.
For three years I’ve been a student at the University of Arizona. Three years ago, I decided to pack up my bags and move over three thousand miles away to go to school here. I didn’t know anything about the University, which meant I was risking everything to try and have a good experience in college. But let me happily say that the risk was definitely worth the reward.
Knowing almost nothing about the university, other than it is a party school and it nearly always sunny, was intimidating. It sounded like a dream school– mountains, booze, and new friends, but my time here in college was not a dream experience. I had my heart broken one too many times; I called my dad at least a hundred time to tell him I am dropping out; and sadly, there were too many friendships to count that were created only to die out shortly. But despite all that, the risk was once again worth the reward
Today, I am happy. I have never been so consistently stable in my life. I have never been so positive, hopeful, and grateful for living the life I do live, and living it well. If I didn’t experience what I did during my time at the University of Arizona, I might not be the same person I am today. This university gave me the chance to live boldly and grow endlessly, but there was a price. And the price was that this all came with an expiration date.
As a graduating senior, I’ve been indulging myself in watching time dwindle. When I signed up for college, I knew that one day it would all end, but little did I know I wouldn’t want it to. But just because I won’t be a student anymore doesn’t mean my whole identity is stripped away, only one part. But that part of my identity has allowed me to gain so much insight on valuable life lessons, and through them, I have learned to grow into the women I am today and the women who stares back at me in the mirror, the women I love.
I couldn’t even try and imagine forgetting where I’ve come from because of how much I have learned through it all. I will always remember the memories I shared with my roommate when I walk by my old dorm. I can’t forget the days I spent overwhelmed, but still trying to pass my classes and study when I walk by the library. And I will sadly remember the amount of alcohol I have consumed during my time here when I walk past Greek row and University Boulevard. And like I can’t forget him or her, I will never be able to forget my time at the University of Arizona.
So, with that, I don’t wish to say goodbye, but instead, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being the place where I was able to find myself. I am not going to say goodbye because if I ever need you , f I ever lose myself and forget, I know that you, Tucson, Arizona, will always be there for me to remember who I am and where I come from. This goodbye isn’t forever; this is only a see you later. I’ll see you lingering in my past and carrying yourself over into my future. I’ll see you soon.