I have watched cycles of red and white tulips bloom and disappear. I have watched how, everywhere, the branches of the trees in Autumn become gilded in metals—golds and bronzes. When the wind blows, they are set on fire and bend brilliantly.
Traversing the stars with my tired, 2:00 AM eyes, I’ve laid next to my friends in the dewy grass and laughed until my belly ached. In the public health building, my bare feet have scampered across the cold floors—from the dance room and to the water fountain and back. I’ve practiced yoga with the statues in the Arboretum and on the steps of the Amphitheatre at sunset. I’ve run in high heels on the slippery sidewalks of a blizzarding Bloomington Square, and I’ve raced through alleyways just to arrive at the doors of Baked before they shut down for the night—the smell of cookies dissipating slowly into the night air.
And then what about the times that I’ve grappled with Garcia Marquéz and Rivera, Woolf and Stein, at a desk in the middle of Soma? Always pressed on time to read the lasting words of a great author. With their help, I grew to love that jittery feeling that comes to my fingertips when my mind moves faster than my hands can write: the spark of inspiration I get as I embark upon analyzing these lasting words for my professors who await the stapled stacks of student papers.
And nothing compares to the feeling of dancing across an empty floor with my friends; showering a stage with color, movement, breath and sound; or filling our dance studio with sweat and creativity and curiosity. Nothing compares to holding the hands of my peers as we look out onto an audience and bow, knowing that what we do is a fleeting art—a fleeting moment.
I cannot remember all the details of these past four years. But what I can recall perfectly are the faces of those who pushed me and supported me along the way. I’ll never forget the hug my mother gave me on my college move-in day, the image of my father across a tiny table at Bloomington Bagel Company, and how my brother cured my flu through a delivery of ice cream and Nyquil on the steps Willke.
And of course, how could I ever let go of the sounds of the familiar voices of my dear friends chattering over one another, joking with each other, constantly bringing me love and light with each passing day? When one of them laughs, I’ll always know who it is in an instant. When one of them smiles, it’ll always feel like home.
So, Indiana University…All I can really say is a truly grateful thank you. I am not so sad as I am completely and utterly grateful.