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You know what?

If there’s anything you’ve taught me, it’s this:

I will graduate college.

I will figure out what I want to do with my life.

I will find a career I love.

I will travel.

I will marry the love of my life one day. 

And when I do 

I’ll be the lucky one that gets to wake up to them every morning.

Our arguments won’t be left unsolved

By the hands of my silence and the deafening lock of my door. 

Our relationship will not flip and turn between

Complete ignorance and civil coexistence. 

Our love will not be the reason for my children’s disbelief in healthy intimacy. 

I will have kids with the love of my life. 

And when I do

They will never know what it’s like to feel unloved. 

Their hands will be filled with toys, 

not the pieces of the family they wish they had. 

Their eyes will be set on their own goals and dreams,

not the preconceived plans that their parents forced upon them. 

And their hearts

Their hearts will learn to crave the small but consistent, 

minimal but crucial, 

corny but real, 

Moments of love that they deserve. 

Because if I’ve learned anything from you, 

it’s how not to love.

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Kiana Lee

UC Berkeley '23

Kiana is a senior at UC Berkeley, where she is currently studying cognitive science and health and wellness. Originally from San Jose, Kiana spends most of her free time in the pool, listening to music, or tending to her plant babies.