Graduation is a time of great celebration, a time to recognize one’s accomplishments and reflect on what the last four years have meant to us and those around us. But to those of us who are not graduating, it is a time to say goodbye to some of the most influential people we have met here on this campus.

This is what I am having to go through this semester due to a number of my friends either graduating from the University or transferring to a different institution to finish out their degrees. By far this will be the toughest set of goodbyes I have ever done during my time here at Northwest.

A lot of my friends that started here at the same time as me are leaving, and honestly, I do not know whether to be happy for their successes or sad that my friends are leaving for greater things while I am being left behind to finish my degree here.

On the one side, I am happy that they are going to be entering the workforce or continuing their education, but on the other, it makes me realize how much I have taken my friends for granted over the last three years as a Bearcat.

I have gotten to go on so many adventures to St. Joseph to walk aimlessly around the mall, or going to see a movie at the Hangar followed by grabbing McDonald’s on the way back to campus. Even the small things, like hanging out in Starbucks and chatting over a cup of coffee, have made such a large impact on my life here at college.

While people are getting ready to walk across the stage and throw their caps up into the air, I am busy packing boxes and cramming for my finals; all of the memories of those adventures are slowly being put into boxes and wrapped in bubble wrap so they can be preserved for a later date.

It has become a period of reflection for me, and it is one I see in the eyes of a lot of people that I pass during my walks around campus. Friends are trying to soak up as much time with each other before they either graduate or go home for summer vacation.

This reflection is common nature for humans, and is one that I seem to experience every spring semester within a few weeks of finals and the end of the academic term. This sense of reflection has gotten stronger every year with the more people that I know graduating or preparing to leave this campus.

While I may be losing some friends, I am excited for the adventures that lie ahead for them as well as myself. To use a a Star Trek quote, “They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no one has gone before.”

To all of the graduating Bearcats, I first want to congratulate you on finishing your degree, and I also want to wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

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