As the second year of my undergrad comes to a close, I have realized that I have made countless friends, cultivated meaningful relationships, and have fallen in love once—maybe twice. It’s been a wild ride of a year and I’m glad I let myself “fall.” I never realized how much so many people meant to me until I saw them taking graduation photos, friends saying goodbye, and nostalgic posts shared all over social media. Even though it is bittersweet—something beautifully sad about saying goodbye—my life is so much richer than if I had kept my heart locked tight.
Life is short and dear. I’ve known that. By taking the Life Course Scholars class, my notion of this idea has expanded. Yes, there is tragedy and there is heartbreak. Some of these experiences are awful and should never be felt by anyone. The color of life oscillates between the spectrum of immense joy and sorrow. But even in this struggle for life, there are still glimmers of happiness, stolen moments of revelry that we will carry with us forever. And what I have come away with is that we should celebrate our humanity—our profound ability to connect and to communicate with one another despite the vast constructs of differences that have been imposed on us.
Our understanding of suffering and delight are pretty much universal. Even though some of us carry aged hands or youthful faces and eyes alight with excitement, the yearning in our hearts all echo similarly—we want to be recognized, to be treated with human dignity no matter what or who we believe in.
After learning all that I have these past two quarters, I believe that in spite of the internalized pressures and constructs we put upon ourselves, we can still find ways to overcome, to resist. Life may not be the rose-colored stained glass it is for everyone but you’re still living, you’re still breathing, you’re still here and that’s something.
Be good people, share your knowledge, strive to learn, and may you bloom wherever you go.