An Open Letter To My Graduating Friends

Dear Graduating Friends,

As you know, we are not a sappy bunch. So this isn’t going to be a tear-jerking list of all the reasons I’m going to miss you next year (ok, maybe a little). Either way, there are some things I want to say to you before we no longer see each other every day of our lives.

1. Thank you for always saying yes to getting donuts at midnight.
And Steak ‘n Shake... and Taco Bell... and pizza. I will be forever grateful for your willingness to be spontaneous and irresponsible with me.

2. Thank you for teaching me life lessons by example.
Since you’re all old and wise, you always knew how to handle the drama, which is usually just to rise above it. You also reminded me when school was important, and when it was time to appreciate time with each other and let loose.

3. Never stop dancing like a maniac with me.
Even though you’re leaving, I expect VERY frequent visits, all of which will include us acting like 10-year-olds and going absolutely nuts to Taylor Swift.

4. When you’re a real adult, I expect you to treat me every once in awhile.
I’m still a poor college student. Since you know the struggle better than anyone, I hope you’re kind enough to take pity on me and buy me food sometimes.

5. I’m grateful for our three-hour conversations comprised solely of voice memos.
And every other weird thing we’ve done to avoid studying. This is something that must continue on a daily basis forever. I don’t expect this to cease.

6. Thank you for listening to me complain whenever I’m frustrated.
You went through it all before me, but you never just tell me to suck it up and get through it. I appreciate your empathy and I hope it will continue, even from miles away.

7. Don’t be afraid to pull me out of the college bubble if I’m being dramatic and narrow-minded.
It’s now your job to let me know when I need to check myself. You’ll be out in the real world, understanding real world things. Sometimes, it might be nice to have a reminder that there are more important things than what’s in the Gainesville bubble.

8. Keep reminding me that life after graduation isn’t actually that scary. Or just lie about it.
My senior year will inevitably consist of weekly panic attacks and freakouts about what I’m going to do with my life come graduation. When I call you in these moments of crisis, I expect you to tell me how awesome your life is post-grad. Even if it’s not really that awesome.

9. Conquer the world.
You went to UF, so you obviously have this power. Reach for the stars, achieve your dreams and all other inspiring cliches. Take a moment to be proud of yourself, and then go do big things.

10. Visit as frequently as humanly possible. I’ll do the same.
Whether you stay in Gainesville or move across the world, I expect to see you all the time. We will make this happen, I have no doubt.

This may be the end of an era for us, but it’s the start of an age for you. Good luck, friends!

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