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final farewells

final farewells

…or whatever

Goodbye, Post-, I am a senior.

-LS

All life ends equally in death.

-LS

I feel like there isn’t much I can say that won’t read like the back of a graduation pamphlet (if that’s even a thing that exists.) Many of my best memories come from the last four years. The friends I have made here are wonderful people whom I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’ve found myself, developed as an intellectual and as an individual. I guess, at the end of it all, what I really want to say is thank you to all of the people who made my experiences possible.

-LS

Marijuana is tearing this university apart.

-LS

Graduating is supposed to make you feel a certain way, or certain ways. I’m supposed to feel wistful, or satisfied, or nostalgic, or terrified. It’s a milestone that looms over the next month like a vengeful shadow, promising days of reminiscing with friends and having meaningful experiences. The problem is that all I want to do right now is get the fuck out.

Senioritis is normal, and even a thing that I’m supposed to be feeling, but it’s not so much that I’m over work. I’m at the same level of occasional engagement and frustration that I’ve always been with coursework, but I’m starting to feel that way about everything else, too. When I look at my busy calendar of senior thesis presentations, free food events, and various arts and cultural events (#sobougie), I realize that all I’m looking forward to is going home in a couple weeks and pretending that Brown and post-Brown don’t exist.

Maybe it would be easier if I had the sense of completion that other people have gotten with honors theses or Ph.D. program acceptances. As it is, I’ve split my time between an abandoned concentration, a completed one that I did the bare minimum for, and a smattering of other departments that I have few ties to. I’m having a hard time conjuring up emotion for a place that I sometimes had a difficult relationship with.

It’s possible this feeling is temporary, motivated by the revelation that I have five (!) papers due in the next three weeks. But it’s also that I didn’t blossom academically, creatively, and personally until the last year or so, and it was often despite of rather than because of Brown. I’m not bitter. I wouldn’t change my experience for the world, and I don’t feel defeated. But I do feel done.

The idea that college is the best time of your life is a poisonous one. I think I’ve done my best to make the most of it, and it’s been the best part of my life so far, but I’m also convinced that the best is still yet to come. If graduation is death is eternal sleep, hit me. I’m tired.

-LS

HAGS

-LS

To the one guy that always ruined section: Bye!

-LS

The trick to the SciLi challenge is just to have 13 shots before you even start.

-LS

I’m just going to write about graduating from Post- because if I start thinking about graduating in general, this’ll get too serious and sad. (I say “start” as though it’s not already happening. I think about graduating [and post-grad life, and friends moving all over the country, and how every single aspect of my life after May 29 is a complete mystery] approximately 700 times a day.) But thinking about the end of my time at Post- is at least a little bit easier. I started writing for Post- during my junior fall at Brown after deciding that if I wanted to be a writer, I should probably actually do some writing. A semester later (keeping up my philosophy of trying one new club or activity per semester—a great way to keep college interesting), I joined the staff as a copy editor and have been spending every Wednesday night with these goofy, thoughtful, passionate editors and writers ever since. I can’t think of a better group of people to debate with over the most important things in life: comma placement and what toppings to order on our weekly Nice Slice. We joke a lot about not having many readers (if you’re actually reading this, text me at 302-388-3751! For science!), but maybe having lots of readers doesn’t matter. Maybe what matters is the friendships we built along the way … just kidding, I can’t let my last words at Post- be a meme. I’ve had a great time working on Post- the last two years as I’ve grown more confident in my skills as a writer and editor, and I’m really going to miss hanging out with this silly, wonderful group of people every Wednesday night.

-LS

I’m starting a PhD program at Stanford in the fall, but I want you to know that the academic success I’ve found in the end doesn’t mean that I didn’t have academic failures along the way. I have some B’s on my record, including two in the field I intend to study for the rest of my life. I also have a C from freshman year (in a field I hope to never have to study again). I’m not advocating that you try to get a C—I should have dropped the class, to be honest—but I nevertheless want to remind you that it all turned out well anyway. I remember opening my grades that December, seeing that C, staring at it for a solid five minutes, and then straight-up panicking. I had always thought that I was really smart, and here it was, the evidence that, actually, I wasn’t smart enough. But if I’ve learned anything from Brown, it’s that the world is filled with a great diversity of talents, interests, and backgrounds, and that diversity is an incredibly valuable and beautiful thing. One of the toughest lessons you’ll learn in college is that you can’t be great at everything. But you will be great at something. So I won’t be a chemist. Someone at Brown will be, though. And while they do that, I’ll be a political scientist instead. Luckily, I found what I was passionate about, and I worked hard at it, and then I found success. It’s a simple formula, really, but I promise it works!

-LS

Here’s the advice I know you don’t want to hear: Do the readings. Seriously. Do the readings. I know that not everyone does them, and that, often, you don’t actually need to do all the readings to get an A in the class. That doesn’t matter, in the end, because the value of your education is what you get out of it, not the letter grade on your transcript. On a similar note, if you enjoy a book you read for a class, keep it, don’t sell it back. (The bookstore pays you nothing for them anyway, and for that matter, always buy your books online.)

-LS

Good Luck!

-LS

Post- was a gateway into writing at Brown, for me. I’ve had an amazing time working for this organization and others on campus, and I feel that those experiences have really shaped my skills as a writer, editor, and reader. The clubs and the people who devote everything to them are an essential part of making Brown what it is.

-LS

I joined Post- as an editor the start of my junior year, and when I walked into 195 Angell St. that first time I decided that—unlike in every other extracurricular I’ve ever done—I was not going to spend the first year or so being intimidated by how much older and/or more knowledgeable than me everyone else was. It was a good decision (even if it’s only medium possible to talk yourself into something like that, it still helps to try). Two years later, Wednesday nights are one of the most reliably fun parts of my week. Post- has seen some changes over the last two years—we keep track of our progress through Production Night semi-reliably online instead of unreliably on a whiteboard now; we no longer have any Y chromosomes in the room; we just took a mass field trip to Ben and Jerry’s; and I’m pretty sure in fall 2014 one person uploaded all of our articles to our website and now our website has been down for the last three weeks (jk, where I was actually going with that was that now we have a ~system~). All the way through, though, it’s been great. I’m so glad I decided on a whim to respond to a Morning Mail ad in summer 2014. Thanks for the memories, and the pizza, and the boxed wine, and all the rest. You’re all in my Top 10.

-LS

“Besides his bein’ kinda crazy, they called him the Smoking Loon ‘cause he was just so dam’ efficient,” Jake began, stubbing out his cigar. “He’d take care of business an’ get in an’ out before anybody’d see him comin’… leavin’ no trace ‘cept the lingerin’ sound of his eerie, loon-like cackle. No one was really sure who he was or who he worked for, but when word got out that someone needed his services, the Smoking Loon just appeared on their doorstep, like outta thin air or somethin.”

-SL

“Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” (OPRAH)

-LS

While I write this blurb, I am simultaneously checking my email, eating pizza, drinking cider, editing a history essay, writing an English paper, listening to about a dozen people discuss the kosher-ness of cookie dough, and trying not to think about the fact that I am moving to Boston in almost exactly a month and have no form of employment lined up whatsoever. And I thought handing in my thesis would be the end of college stress.

That being said, I wrote a thesis! On an icebreaker topic that makes bigwigs go “whoa”! Yes I still have to present on it. Yes I will probably revisit it in grad school and end up scrapping the whole thing. Yes my mental health is fine.

The state of mild mania that I am evidently in right now is pretty par for the course for college students; and it’s weird to think that I now have the experiential authority to claim this fact with full validity. It’s weird to think that in almost exactly a month, my entire academic life is potentially in my rear-view mirror. No more homework, no more Old White Male™ professors, no more essays to write till dawn’s early light. Don’t remind me that I plan to get a masters in a few years. For now (once I have a job), home is home and work is work. Maybe I’ll get a cat. Maybe I’ll find a significant other so I can get a dog without having to walk it myself. Maybe I’ll get a cat-dog crossbreed with a mutated gene that allows it to breathe fire and melt the faces of the Old White Male™ professors who made me want to rip my own face off so often.

I am drinking cider. I am not used to drinking cider. You can tell, can’t you.

There must be something profound I can say. There must be some poetry, a sonnet, a beautiful ode to the college experience that will make this blurb more memorable than all the others (remember me, dammit).

But this is all I got: I survived the first 21+ years of my life. I will soon have a pretty diploma to hang on a wall, touting my Ivy League degree for the rest of my pretentious, obnoxious, snooty-nosed existence.

But more importantly. I have survived. You can’t get more profound than that.

-LS

It’s weird that pirates went from shore to shore looking for treasure when the real treasure was the friends they made along the way.

-LS

P.S. Secretly, I’m the one that burned down Keeney.

-LS