As everyoneâ€™s favorite blind Italian opera singer, Andrea Bocelli, so beautifully sang in â€œTime to Say Goodbye,â€ itâ€™s nearing that time â€” that time to say goodbye, in many cases indefinitely, to people whom weâ€™ve grown to deeply care for over the past few years.
When I began my time as Editorial Editor for the Collegian a year ago, I barely knew any of my fellow editors and almost nothing of the job I had agreed to take on. Edit a couple columns every day and get paid for it? Thatâ€™ll take almost no time, right?
Oh, was I wrong. I had no idea the amount of time Iâ€™d devote to this newsroom tucked away in the basement of the Lory Student Center, or subsequently, how much melanin, outside human interaction and normal sleep patterns Iâ€™d lose.
I never could have anticipated the consistent stream of heated debate that would surround the Opinion page this year, and I definitely never thought columns printed on this page would elicit an entire protest against us. Without hesitation, I can admit I wasnâ€™t prepared. When people told me, â€œYouâ€™re going to need a thick skin for this job,â€ I probably shouldâ€™ve taken them a bit more seriously.
Because, judging by the number of times Iâ€™ve sat at my desk, sobbing and stress-eating Subway cookies and saltine crackers from the Ramskeller, itâ€™s safe to say that my â€œskinâ€ wasnâ€™t quite thick enough.
But it doesnâ€™t matter. None of it. Because, regardless of the things Iâ€™ve learned and the mistakes Iâ€™ve made â€” and there have been plenty of both â€” the significance lies in the people Iâ€™ve met, the people Iâ€™ve grown to love and ultimately the people Iâ€™ll hold dear for the rest of my life.
During the long hours Iâ€™ve spent in this newsroom and at CSU in general, Iâ€™ve met quite a few of these people. And I know most of you have too.
So as graduation looms less than two weeks away, Iâ€™ve started thinking about the different ways Iâ€™ve said â€œgoodbyeâ€ in the past and, sadly, the â€œgoodbyesâ€ Iâ€™ll be saying in the near future.
And I know everyone says this, but Iâ€™m awful at it. My â€œgoodbyeâ€ usually never fits the context, and I end up wishing Iâ€™d said more… or in some cases, less.
Thereâ€™s the: â€˜I know Iâ€™ll probably never see you again, but I canâ€™t face the thought of that yet, so Iâ€™m going to pretend youâ€™re just leaving on a weekend trip or something.â€™
Person 1: â€œHey, so, have a good flight! Youâ€™re going to love New York. Bring me back a hot dog! Ha… ha. Bye!â€
Person 2: â€œIâ€™ll miss you, you know…â€
Person 1: â€œOhhh, come on! This isnâ€™t really goodbye! Have a great trip, alright?â€
Person 2: â€œBut I signed a five-year contract, and youâ€™re moving to China…â€
Person 1: â€œ…Oh, stop being so down! Iâ€™ll see you really soon!â€
You see, in this type of â€œgoodbye,â€ Person 1 is left with a car ride home full of tears and the radio blasting â€œMy Heart Will Go On.â€
Donâ€™t do this, because denial is never the way to go. But neither is…
The â€œYouâ€™re just moving an hour away, but for some reason that seems monumental to me right now, so Iâ€™m going to have an emotional breakdown after your graduation.â€
Person 1: â€œI canâ€™t believe the time is finally here…â€
Person 2: â€œAaah, I canâ€™t believe it either! Finally out in the â€˜real world.â€™ Crazy!â€
Person 1: â€œNo, I mean… I canâ€™t believe youâ€™re finally leaving… for good.â€
Person 2: â€œOh, come on, weâ€™ll still see each other all the time! This isnâ€™t actually goodbye. Iâ€™ll visit every weekend!â€
Person 1: â€œI will always, always remember you. Youâ€™ve left a footprint on my heart.â€
Donâ€™t be that Person 1, either.
But do: Say goodbye with honest emotion, and remember that if the person really means something to you, no goodbye is permanent.
I know that sounds sappy, even by my standards, but itâ€™s true. And as I watch my friends walk across the stage at graduation, Iâ€™ll know that, even though they wonâ€™t be in my life everyday anymore, theyâ€™ll never leave my life completely.
So as long as weâ€™re in the realm of â€œsappy,â€ as Gandhi himself once said, “There are no goodbyes. Wherever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.”
And if theyâ€™re not on your heart, theyâ€™ll at least be on your Facebook newsfeed.
Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.