"The Opposite of Loneliness"

Marina Keegan graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 2012. Five days after her commencement ceremony, she tragically passed away in a car accident. However, her final published work, an essay for the Yale Daily News entitled “The Opposite of Loneliness” radiates life. Marina’s take on youth, the unknown, and community is raw and enlightening. 

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

“The Opposite of Loneliness” bestows upon its readers’ reassurances for every college student:  

  • You’re not alone.

There is a myriad of students, and we’re all in this together. Many people know what you’re going through and what you’re feeling. Whether it’s suffering through Elkins classes, hiking the CCB stairs, staying in Payson until closing, worshipping at the Well when you should be studying, staying up talking to your suitemates until the dead of night, or driving 30 minutes to get In N Out, there are people who have done the same and are rooting for you.


  • We are young and our best years aren’t behind us.

Everyone says that "your college years are the best of your life." College is full of experiences, learning, opportunities, fun, and discovery; those qualities are what make these years so great. But, all those characteristics can just as easily be extant in the future. 


  • Everyone has things they wish they had done differently, nobody is perfect.

I certainly have made mistakes. I have procrastinated, overslept, forgotten assignments, missed convocation, and pulled all-nighters.There are Board events I regret not attending, PIT shows and coffeehouses I didn’t go to. But it’s important to not dwell on the past and the “what ifs” -- move forward. 


  • It’s completely normal for the future to be scary and uncertain. 

“What are your plans for after graduation?” is probably the worst question to ever exist, because the truth is, most of us have no idea what we are doing. There are Juniors who are still undecided, Pre-Med students who don’t know what they want to practice, Business Admin. majors who don’t know what they’re going to do with their degree. The future is unknown, which is intimidating for many. The nice thing is, the unknown lays the foundation for possibility.


  • It’s never too late -- a world of possibility awaits and you have the power to do anything you want.

Your major doesn’t have to dictate the rest of your life. Make the changes that will bring you happiness. You’re an IMC major but decide post-grad that you want to become a teacher? Great! Get your teaching credential! Have a degree in business but want to become a missionary? Go for it! You have the ability to do what your heart desires.


For anyone interested in the full essay, it can be accessed here: https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2012/05/27/keegan-the-opposite-of-loneliness/