This will be the last piece I write for The Miami Student.
Those of you familiar with this column are probably expecting some final, scathing commentary about a campus issue and a couple well-placed jabs at the opponents I’ve picked up over the years.
But I’m leaving the Miami Plan and the Farmers School of Business out of it today – my restraining orders notwithstanding – because there are more important things I want to say.
When I came to Miami University four years ago, I was a sweat-pants-wearing, sharp-tongued, asocial 17-year-old hoping against hope that I hadn’t made the worst mistake of my life by choosing this land of Greeks and prepsters.
Today I can look back at an undergraduate career peppered with chaos, spontaneity, joy, anxiety, obsession, intensity and so much joie de vivre I still can’t believe they’re my experiences.
The people I’ve known here have taught me so much about who I am and who I can be, I literally can’t imagine where I would be without them.
This school, this town, this institution we call Miami has shaped us in ways we still don’t fully understand.
To the students we’re leaving behind, I’ll give my simplest and most important piece of advice: say yes as often as you can.
Open your mind to new ideas and new experiences at every chance, because it will only make your time here richer.
Don’t graduate wishing you had studied abroad, wishing you had taken that research opportunity, wishing you had dated that guy – just do it.
To my seniors the end is nigh.
When you walk past a building you’ve seen a thousand times before, today it feels slightly different.
There’s sense of peace mixed with nostalgia and the faintest overlay of panic. Wanting to stay here forever is not the same as actually doing so.
Because these days, these memories, these crazy people and ridiculous situations are now moments out of time.
We have to move on, we have to leave these dorms and classrooms and bars to the next batch of Miamians who will do their utmost to out-business school and out-dress and out-Greek every other college in this country – and by God they will do it with class.
Some of you may graduate and never, ever look back.
Others will be here every Homecoming weekend from now until your kids attend Miami.
Regardless, just know that your time here was important.
You mattered to the people around you and you were one more student that made this school what it is.
I know that going to college anywhere else would have been a mistake, and as I start to tear up a little now that the finality of this column hits me, I’m more certain of that fact than ever.
I’m not trying to turn this essay into free advertising space for the recruiting office.
I will easily admit to times when the thought of being in Oxford for a second longer made me want to lace up my sneakers and take off Forest Gump style.
Every one of us has had a bad night uptown, a crazy roommate, an impossible professor, a psychotic ex and moments of directionless terror.
But that’s all part of becoming adults.
You’re going to take away from Miami what you choose to.
You can focus on the negativity that sometimes surrounds us, or you can choose to remember the amazing friends you made in your first dorm and the family you found in your fraternity.
There are the professors whose advice I’ll always remember, and the professors I will still wish to perdition twenty years from now.
There are the people I’ve already forgotten and the people who will be doing shots with my grandkids at my funeral, telling them the stories they should never hear about me.
The point is, I know how important the friends and family I’ve made here will always be and I want to thank every one of you for being a part of my time here.
I have but one last request for my readers – Fun. said it better, but St. Ignatius Loyola said it first.
To my seniors, my Miami family: go forth and set the world on fire.