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A Goodbye to La IUPI, the People I Love, and Puerto Rico

After 5 years, the long-awaited graduation is right around the corner. And while I’d like to say I’m ready for the next part of my life, I’m terribly scared of how much it’s going to change. I will be starting my master’s degree in Publishing in the upcoming Fall, which means I will have to leave my beloved island to live somewhere else for the first time in my life. Because of this, I will have to say my much-dreaded goodbyes to things that have impacted  my life forever: La IUPI, the people I love, and Puerto Rico.

Dear La IUPI, 

Throughout these 5 past years you’ve gifted me countless memories that I will carry with me forever. Thanks to you, I was able to make amazing friends and meet outstanding professors. In those 119 year old walls I learnt of hundreds of topics and formed many opinions. Your classrooms have seen many of my tears, anger, and laughter as I experienced many day-to-day situations. While we lost almost two years together because of Covid, I was glad to see you again for my last semester. I was happy to walk along your corridors again, to see the other students reading in your different corners, and experience once more how you bring us together as a community. Even though I’ll be far away, I promise to always defend you along with other former students. Now that I’m leaving, I wish you all the best, and while I’ll not be a part of you anymore, I’ll always be “una jerezana de corazón”. 

Dear family, 

As I now sit here and think what to say to you, tears want to make their way out of me. I’m excited to go see where my life takes me, but just know that I will miss you all with my whole self. This one is my hardest goodbyes, because while I had my first taste of independence living near La IUPI, I still saw you all every week. Now sitting here I think of how much I will miss the laughter, the dancing, the singing, the crying, and even the fighting; but as much as this goodbye is hard for me, I know for you it’s gonna be harder. I know that while you all joke that I’m finally growing up and becoming independent, a small piece of your heart breaks everytime you think about it. Each time I catch one of you looking at me with that look of sadness that you all try to hide, I know it’s because I’ll be far. I promise to FaceTime every day, because even if I’ll be far away that will help us bear the pain. I also promise to visit as much as I can, we’ll all lay in bed talking about anything and everything, and it will be like the good old days. 

To my dad. I know we fight a lot. It’s because our personalities crash sometimes. Even if that’s probably not gonna change, I want to tell you that I couldn’t ask for a better dad. 

To my mom. You know I’m going to miss you the most. It’s probably because I’m very dependent on you. You make me feel better with just a hug and never let me get too much in my head. 

To Mael. Out of everyone, I’m going to miss your hugs the most. I know that out of my siblings, you will be the first to cry when I leave, but I’ll call you so much you’ll get tired of me and it will be just as if I were with you. I know I don’t normally say it, but I’m immensely proud of how far you’ve come.

To Luis. It’s hard to know I won’t be around for your last years of high school. I will miss how you just randomly want hugs and kisses from me even if I complain each timeーI was just putting on my big sister act. Promise to call me, I will listen to you whenever you need me to. 

To Andrea. Ever since you’ve been in this world you’ve looked up to me and confided in me. And now that I’m moving, I’m really scared to leave you behind. I don’t feel like this because I don’t think you won’t do great with me near to remind you of things, I’m just terrified that you will stop talking to me as much. I promise to call you and tell you of how my life’s going, or present you with the latest gossip. Just promise me you’ll do the same. 

To mamá. I know that you really don’t want to see me part. You’ve dreaded this time ever since I first told you 3 years ago that I needed to leave because the program I wanted wasn’t offered in any university on the island. Promise me that you’ll keep yourself healthy, and don’t cry too much. I promise to always answer the phone. I’ll take care of myself, just please don’t worry too much. 

Dear best friends, 

You’ve all been with me through thick and thin, I’ve been lucky to have met you all. I love how you supported me through the pains of life, or laughed alongside me for silly occurrences. I will miss our gossiping sessions, but I promise to always have time for them even if they’re through the cell phone. Know that even though we’ve met other people and we don’t hang out as much, your spot in my heart has never and will never be filled by someone else. I know because of me moving away we will see each other even less, but I will forever call you all my best friends. 

Dear Puerto Rico, 

Beautiful Isla del Encanto, we’ve been through a lot together. Now it pains me to know I’ll leave you behind for another place. Know that I don’t want to leave you, but I need to. I’ll miss your blue beaches and your green mountains, your sunny days and your rainy ones. I’ll miss how I could go from one corner of you to the other in two hours if there wasn’t any traffic, and how when your winds and sun touch my face it was like a soft, warm embrace. What would I give to forever walk your grounds and smell that earthy air. I know throughout the years you’ve suffered the loss of your children, either to the hands of foreigners or to emigration. I will be one of those children you lose, but know that even if I’ll be physically far away, my heart will stay with you forever. 

Love, 

Angélica

Angélica is a Comparative Literature in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She's a wannabe writer that can be found cuddled up in her bed reading a book. Her biggest obsession is Harry Potter and anything to do with it. She has a lot of dreams for her future and hopes to work in a publishing house someday.
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