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It’s about the people

| Friday, May 16, 2014

I’ve had a bit of a difficult time writing this reflection. And that’s not because I’ve wrecked three keyboards and two boxes of Kleenex getting to the point where I can see my screen clearly enough to type.

I jest. But think about any graduation speech you’ve ever attended. Can you distinctly perceive any single one? I remember Jobs’ speech in 2005. But I wasn’t there. I’d be surprised if you had an answer. Hell, many of you may have even orated an address and couldn’t remember it.

But it’s not about remembering everything. And that’s the difficulty; the topics of classes you attend and the time you spent studying is soon forgotten. The time you spend dealing with the winters and sweating in the summers, again, is forgotten. It’s about the people I’ve encountered in my time here, that’s what you remember and that’s this reflection.

To my teammates: from the first days on the ergs to our final races next week in Gainesville, Fla., we’ve been brothers. And there’s nothing in the world that can pull people together than embracing that kind of suffering together. I can’t wait to see what we’ve got left in the tank.

To my study abroad class: from not really understanding what we’re ordering to teaching American partying norms to different cultures, I thank you. There’s nowhere better to get out of your own environment than by actually physically removing yourself from your own environment. And then, of course, getting lost and sleeping only God-knows-where in Shanghai; that kinda helps too.

To my mentors Jim and Phil: your guidance has shaped my experience here and my maturation in both my vocational and extracurricular pursuits. For that, there are no words.

And to my deepest friends: my experience has been crafted entirely by you guys. And that’s truly incredible to think about.

My difficulty in writing this reflection stems not from a lack of ideas or a lack of experiences, for those are multitudinous, but from an intense and scary realization that my time here has come to a close. Would I kill for the chance to come back and do it all again? Absolutely. That’s not my case though.

People always get caught up in the small stuff and ask questions like would I have changed anything or what mistakes I had made. The flipside of that coin is that there aren’t any, and my experience wouldn’t be the same if I had.

Cheers, ND. And thanks for the memories.

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

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