At this time next week, I will be sitting within the confines of Yankee Stadium, plopped alongside thousands of my classmates in a sea of purple, eagerly awaiting the commencement ceremony to commence and the rest of my life to unfold before my eyes. At this time next week, I will be graduating from New York University.
But today, today I will be saying some tearful goodbyes to some people I have come to know dearly. It is amazing how one person can change so much in a week, a month, a year. We go through the motions of our lives as though actors on a movie set, except we rarely take a moment to stop, reel back the footage and watch how much we’ve grown and how far we’ve come.
I remember being a freshman. I remember thinking I knew it all, had everything under control. But, looking back, I was still just a baby. Chasing after the wrong things, the wrong people. Getting lost in myself, but, in a way, beginning to find my true self in the process. As the years ticked onward, I continued to grow, as does everybody. And now, sitting here and looking back on all the memories–some good, some tragic–that cloud my vision from over the years, I can’t help but smile. Everything, in the end, was a learning experience, and it all helped shape me into the person that I am today.
Today I will be saying some tearful goodbyes to some people I have come to know dearly over the past couple months. We’ve all known each other for only a little less than a year, but, already, we’ve all changed so much. It’s funny how life will do that to you. People walk into your life and people walk out of it, and, for the people who stay, you always end up looking back and wondering how you could have gone your whole life without knowing them up until this point.
I say that today will be tearful, but the tears will not really be ones of sadness. Sure, we are all going our separate ways come next week. One of us is even moving halfway around the world to start the next chapter of her life in England, but this is not the end, even if it seems like it may be for some time. This is just the beginning.
We’re all still growing, still changing. I think that’s the point of life. We’ll continue to make mistakes. And just as we’ll continue to occasionally interact with the wrong people, we’ll also continue to occasionally stumble across the right ones. It’s life. And it’s messy and it’s uncertain and it’s full of wonderful surprises.
We are all going to be just fine. And we are all going to continue on this journey together.
Shakespeare once said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
At this time next week, I will be sitting within the confines of Yankee Stadium. And I could not be more excited.