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Parting is such sweet sorrow

Amanda Gray | Thursday, April 12, 2012

I did it, guys.

I finished my thesis, turned it in and celebrated accordingly.

When I initially signed up to write this Inside Column back in February, I knew it was due just days after my thesis due date. I wanted to use it to rant and rave about the process, telling all of the horror stories and late-night breakthroughs I had.

And then today came, the day before it’s due, and I realized that’s no longer important.

I mean, yes, my thesis is important, but I don’t want to talk about my thesis anymore. This Inside Column may very well be the last thing I write for The Observer.

With that in mind, let’s wax a little more philosophical, shall we? I’ve got some wisdom to impart, and only 450 (wait, now just 300) words left to do so.

I’ve learned how to write a thesis. But what have I really learned at Notre Dame?

I’ve learned to love – love anyone and everyone that comes into your life. Ready for a cliché come true? Life is really too short to fight, or to hold grudges.

Life on this college campus is even shorter. You’ve only got four years to make bonds with people that will last a lifetime – don’t waste that time on petty arguments or judgmental actions.

I’ve also learned to let go. If you knew me before college, you know that I have always been a type-A personality, crazy and super organized. And if you know me in college, you’d still say I’m the same.

But this year, especially these last few months, I’ve told myself on numerous occasions to let something be “good enough” and go spend time with the people who mean a lot to me.

In 20 years, what do you want to remember? Studying every weekend, or sneaking on to Duck Island, taking a spur-of-the-moment trip to Chicago, and dancing around your dorm room to 90s pop songs?

That’s what I thought.

I’ve also learned just how special this place is. I have moments when I’m near God Quad at 10 p.m., and in the quiet darkness I begin to hear the Basilica’s bells ring the alma mater, albeit out of tempo and tune.

I have to stop as the realization comes over me: I’m not going to be here in a few months. I’m not going to wake up in McGlinn, walk out the front door and see the Dome.

I realize I’m becoming the sentimental senior. I’m the one who tears up when giving tours to prospective students. I’m the one who won’t stop taking pictures.

I’m the one who finally broke down and bought a class ring, even though I always said it wasn’t for me.

So, in these last lines, let me thank you, everyone, for making this a ride of a lifetime.

Contact Amanda Gray at agray3@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.