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Saying Goodbye to Another Year

The end of the school year is always weird. You’ve grown attached to your Tuesday lunches at Hillside and your Saturday night pregames in Edmonds. But the impending doom of finals and the stress of moving out dilute this feeling of bittersweet-ness we face at the end of the semester. That’s because the last thing you want to think about while sifting through your Biology notecards, simultaneously stuffing your face with Domino’s cheesy bread is leaving. Although you know you’ll be back at school next year, you can’t shake the feeling that things will change. Here are few tips on how to deal with saying goodbye to another year:

1. Moving Out:  When I have a paper due the next day, the first thing I do is go on NastyGal for three hours and make a 200-item “shopping cart” of things that I have no intention of buying. You could call me a professional procrastinator because I think it makes me sound slightly less pathetic. Therefore without fail, I wait until 10 hours before my flight leaves, to start packing up my room. When you face the reality of the empty room in front of you, you turn into a hot mess. Then the Gilmore Girls intro song “Where You Lead” plays in your head as you reminisce on the day you moved in, the time your roommate caught you eating Doritos’ at 3am in your bed, and the first time you cropped yourself into all of your roommates’ pictures as a joke. Good times. But while you dwell in your three minutes of nostalgia, remind yourself how exciting next year will be. Just because you’re leaving your old room behind, you’re not leaving any of your memories behind. Also, start packing your things at least a week before you’re leaving because it makes the final move out much easier.  

2. Friendships: One of my favorite parts of college is the idea that “It’s playtime all the time.” When your friends are all within a 3-mile radius of you, you’re always with them. Since I’ve been in college I have not been to one public restroom alone. But what happens when you have to say goodbye to all of your classmates, your bathroom buddies, your O’Neill compadres, your roomies, your BFFs? It sucks because: 1. You will miss them and 2. You don’t want the dynamic to change. So you don’t think about it until it comes time to leave. Then you kind give your friends a quick hug with one or two pats on the back and make 3 seconds of awkward eye contact where you say “Bye! See you in a few months!” Then you grab your overstuffed bags and head for the door because long goodbyes make you uncomfortable. The moment you stifle a sob, remember the words of Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” It’s a good thing to be sad to leave your friends because that means they’re great friends. Even though you’ll be on opposite coasts, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your friends on a daily basis.

3. Routines: With every new school year and sometimes even new semester, there comes a new set of routines. You fill up your schedule with Monday lunches at Hillside and Wednesday lunches at Eagle’s Nest after your drawing class. Your weekly schedule becomes static to the point you stopped texting your friends “Lunch?” and instead you just say “Sitting at the table near the register.” But keep an open mind to new routines. With every semester you see certain friends more frequently, strengthening a friendship you never thought you would. Someone can go from “that girl who always sits in front of me in my Psych classes” to a close friend. In other words, don’t be afraid to break some old routines and make new ones. Get excited for your new lunch plans!

4. Hookups: The worst feeling is starting something when there isn’t enough time to complete it. Starting a fling/hook-up a few weeks before the end of the school year can get complicated. In some cases, you both know it’s nothing more than a fun hookup with a nearing expiration date. But other times it’s not so clear. The thought of leaving school with no defined stance or clear future causes an unshakable feeling of anxiety. That anxiety is inevitable but counterproductive when you have so much else you need to focus on. I believe if it fizzles out after the school year ends, it probably wasn’t something worth continuing to begin with. But sometimes distance actually makes the heart grow fonder thanks to modern-day technology. So put the stress to rest, things will eventually work themselves out.

I am by no means an expert in saying goodbye nor at accepting the change every year throws in my face. As a junior at Boston College, I’ve gone through the motions of saying goodbye for the summer twice. With every year, the goodbyes get harder but I try and stop just to remind myself how lucky I am to have great people and experiences in my life worth missing. I also have new challenges to look forward to. Bring it on, senior year!

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