Danielle Zawadzki

I love you, Miami, but I think we should break up. We had a great run, but it’s time for me to move on. It’s not enough to say that I’ll miss you. Being here has changed my life in ways that I never imagined it would. Now that my college days are coming to an end, I feel the need to pass on some of the infinite wisdom that I have acquired these past four years. I’ve learned that appearances can be deceiving; there is a difference between having it all together and just looking like you have it all together. I’ve learned that drunk texting Miami guys is never a good idea. The only worse idea is waking up next to a Miami guy. I will miss the freedom to be irresponsible and the sense of actions without consequences. There’s no such thing as having a drinking problem at Miami, a fact I often reminded myself of when going out on a Tuesday. I’ve had some of the best conversations of my life over a beer at Mac and Joe’s. I will miss the $4 pitchers of PBR and white Russians from Circle Bar.

Not all the people you will meet here are shallow, some of them actually care about what’s going on in the world and have opinions on these topics. Talk to people you don’t know. I’ve learned that life isn’t a popularity contest and there’s never a winner. There will always be people who make you feel bad about yourself; only you can decide whether or not it works. It’s Miami’s best kept secret that you don’t have to go Greek to be successful in life. I will not miss fraternities and sororities. I’ve learned that nothing tastes better than Jimmy John’s at the end of the night, especially if you’ve spent it “dancing” (a.k.a. getting grinded on and stepped on) at Brick Street (RIP First Run). “Don’t Stop Believing” is the best bar song, hands down. I will miss being a resident assistant, but I won’t miss staying in on weekends to yell at drunk first-years. I’ve learned that broomball is the most fun you can have while getting severely bruised.

Grades aren’t everything, but the friendships you make here are. I will miss piecing together the fragments of a drunken night over brunch at Erickson. I have given my heart away and had it broken twice. I’ve learned my limitations. I recommend having a bad relationship to anyone; you can really learn a lot about yourself. I won’t miss walking across Cook Field at night and getting the crap scared out me when the Pulley Tower starts to play the Dracula theme song. I’ve learned that kissing under the Upham Arch at midnight doesn’t guarantee a Miami Merger. I’ll miss walking around campus in warm weather while people are playing drinking games on their porches. Hell, I’m even going to miss all the red brick.

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Study abroad. I lived in Italy for a summer, and it was the best experience of my life. One of the most valuable things that you can do for yourself is to leave your comfort zone and learn about the outside world. These four years have flown by. Miami has taught me about the best and the worst parts of myself, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow here. All good things have to come to an end, but I’ll miss you, Miami. Thanks for the memories.