"All good things come to an end" -- Chaucer
Waking up this morning, I came to realize that I would never sleep in that bed again. I would never be in that room again, I would never shower in that shower again, I would never pass those halls again. This was it.
Goodbyes were never my thing, especially when it is leaving behind people and memories that I have been so fond of. I dragged myself out of bed, and finished my packing. My room looked so empty and bare, which definitely added to my feelings of sadness from leaving. A couple people stopped by my room to say their goodbyes, but eventually it was my turn. I knocked on doors and said my final goodbyes. In this day in age, what always makes goodbyes easier is the fact that it's so easy to be connected with one another. Whether it be through social media, texting, or calling, everyone is at our fingertips. We all exchanged contacts a few days before, so I was not completely cut off from them.
There will be so many things I will miss about Columbia: my friends, the trips, and dorm life. Everyone in our dorm could not have been more different; we were from separate parts of the world, grew up with different cultures, and had different personalties. That did not stop us from all being very close with each other though. We all bonded through our differences and learned so much from each other. I feel so lucky to have known everyone from my dorms. I'm going to miss catching up with them through passing, hearing about their crazy adventures during the day, and stuffing our faces with cookies we ordered at 12AM. Everything down to the detail I will miss very much.
We hopped into a airport shuttle where the cohort was reminiscing over memories we had made, but also wept over the fact that we were leaving this great life behind. Seeing the beautiful city one last time was really hard, but it was the closure we all needed to end this trip. We got to the airport and boarded our first flight to LAX in Los Angeles, California, where we would then take a flight to SFO. I had only gotten a few hours of sleep the night before, so these plane rides whizzed by.
Once we arrived to SFO, I realized another set of goodbyes was near. We all approached each other once it was our time to go, and said our goodbyes. Letting go of the people I spent nearly a month with will be hard. They were my family for a month; we sought adventure together, explored the expansive cities together, and most of all, made memories together. It was hard saying goodbye, but I know that everyone is right here in the Bay Area, so that goodbye was more of a "see you later".
I cannot thank Ms. Thrift enough for being such an amazing chaperone. Her constant planning, organizing, and sometimes last minute improvising has not gone without appreciation. All the hard work she has put into making a fun filled itinerary has given me the best trip I could ever imagine, and for that I am ever grateful. Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest goodbyes; she was there for all of us and supported us the whole way through the trip. I really thank you for everything you've done Ms. Thrift!
"When one door closes, another opens" said Alexander Graham Bell. Even if this experience has ended, I have taken so much from it that I know new opportunities will arise for me. The ending of something good does not necessarily mean the beginning of something bad. The ending of something good may lead to the beginning of something better. I am hoping that this will be true; as the ILC program has ended for me, I am hoping that I will be able to use what I have learned to seize greater opportunity. The ILC has prepared me with all the skills and tools I need, now I just have to use them.