The Looming Question I’ve Been Trying To Ignore: How Am I Going To Say Goodbye To CUA?

In August after returning from a semester abroad, I was beyond excited and ready to begin my senior year. The advice from older friends, relatives, co-workers, and at times even strangers to “embrace each moment” fueled each month, week, and day with the energy to live in the now and to not overthink the overwhelming notions about the future and what lies beyond May 14th. Now, with just 12 short days until pictures in front of the Basilica, teary-eyed parents, and alcohol-induced headaches from senior week, I can’t help but wonder how I will say goodbye to the school I’ve called home and the friends I’ve called family for the last four years. 

With any experience comes life lessons, and the class of 2016’s four years at CUA are no exception. From the heartache of losing a close friend and teammate, frustration with being the guinea pig students in a brand new business school, excitement of hosting Pope Francis, outrage from an unprovoked article about our beloved Brookland neighborhood, fear during unexplained campus threats and lockdowns, and the daily ups and downs in between, we have learned how to lean on one another. As a result the class of 2016 has become a close-knit community. 

Though we love to complain about our at times dysfunctional administration, occasional run-ins with danger, inedible food at San Antonios and the Pryz, newly enforced legality at Michigan Liquors, slow weekend metro, the ferret living in Murray and Paul’s, stuffy house parties, incorrect diagnoses from the health center, and the people who ebb and flow from our lives like the water in the Monroe Street Market parking garage, we have all learned to love and call this place our home. We have become emotionally attached to our university and the neighborhood that fosters this unique community because what continues to outweigh all of the bad are the people we have met. The lifelong friendships, the kindness of the Pryz workers, and the friendliness of the locals who have welcomed us are what will make CUA so hard to leave. Let’s be honest, where else will you want to go for a Jumbo slice, or a half-assed Subway sandwich, or mega-marg (and nothing will ever compare to late night Tsim Yung)? This school has guided us in developing into the adults we are today, teaching us far more than the love and life of Jesus Christ. 

So how do we say goodbye to a community we’ve made our own? Despite an attempt to spend more time on campus and be in the constant presence of friends, the ticking of the clock seems to be getting louder. While we cannot change the reality of growing up and moving on, I will be forever grateful for my time at CUA and will never be able to give back what it has given to me. 

I feel confident in saying that we will enjoy the final days the only way CUA students know how: having an excessive amount of fun. But to everyone I have encountered here at CUA, as you move in the direction of your life, I hope the world sees the same person that you always were to me.