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The hardest goodbye

Sarah Vabulas | Friday, May 19, 2006

I’m a firm believer in the fact that people come into our lives for a reason and change us forever. And I can honestly say that in my four years here at Saint Mary’s, I was deeply changed in so many ways by so many people. Saint Mary’s has been my home and I will miss it dearly.

This campus is the most beautiful and serene place in the world. Too many times I took it for granted and failed to absorb the beauty around me. Many of the buildings hold such history for our school – Le Mans Hall, Holy Cross Hall and the convent just to name a few. The avenue is gorgeous and I will miss driving down it on a crisp fall day as leaves slowly fall to the tree-lined asphalt as I glide over them so they float free once again.

While I will miss walking across campus at all hours of the day and night, seeing Le Mans tower standing tall against the frigid winter winds and thick falling snow, I will miss the people I’ve met more.

It’s always been difficult for me to say goodbye to people I love. People light my heart on fire – this amazing community accomplished this well throughout the last four years. Truly, I have been altered intellectually by my highly-gifted professors, spiritually by this wonderful Catholic community, but best yet, personally by my friends – the best friends I could ever call my own.

To my professors: Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the education of young women. I could tell each lecture that you loved your jobs and that love helped motivate me to work harder. While much learning occurred inside the classroom, much also occurred outside. There have been many times when I have been able to apply what I learned from you in a classroom to the real world. That gift alone makes me smile. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To my classmates: In each of my classes, you never ceased to amaze me with your intelligence and wisdom about things I would never imagine a college-aged person would have. But I believe that is the beauty of Saint Mary’s – we are unique women who have had unique life experiences and we come together to form a family. Thank you for promoting my education with your life experiences. Know that you aided in my education just as much as reading any assigned book.

To my friends: I cannot find one word to describe the love and respect I have in my heart for each of you. We have been through so much together. We have supported one another, commended one another and loved one another. I will treasure our friendships for the rest of my life. Thank you for all the good times – and even the bad. Part of a college education is forming lifelong friendship and I know I found countless ones and I am so grateful. May you have many continued blessings in each of your life. I will miss you.

There are so many stories to be told of moments here – both highs and lows. But at the end of the day, I have been changed by each of these moments. I have been transformed from a starry-eyed, would-like-to-think-she-knows-it-all young girl into a more intelligent, more worldly young woman.

So as I walk across the Court of Le Mans Hall and receive my diploma, I will remember each of you that have touched my life. For as I may be physically leaving this place, it will forever have my heart.

Sarah Vabulas is a graduating communication studies major with a religious studies minor and former Assistant Managing Editor of The Observer. She thanks her parents for the wonderful opportunity to attend her dream college. She will miss looking at Le Mans tower and the Golden Dome as well as visits to the Grotto. She would like to thank The Observer staff for the many life lessons in leadership and struggle as well as the laughs and friendships. She has never been prouder to be a member of a hardworking and outstanding group of people. But most of all, she will miss the randomness that goes along with college friends and welcomes you to visit her in Atlanta.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.