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Farewell column: Without words

If you know me well at all, you know it’s not often that I find myself at a loss for words. As Hannah Horvath, the main character on my favorite show “Girls” once uttered emphatically,  “I have a strong opinion about everything, even topics I’m not informed on.” I’m not saying that’s how I am, because being informed is crucial. But I do like to talk.

When it came time to write this senior column though, I stared at a blank computer screen for a long time. Everything I write is going to sound cliché, and I’ve never needed the right words so badly.

How do I articulate this nagging feeling my friends and I have been discussing  since January? How do I talk about the wonder I still feel with every step I take around this campus, the gratitude that comes from every laugh I share with every treasured human I’ve met in this place? Can a cluster of verbs and nouns describe the buzz of the first warm spring day, when the last lecture ends and 100 backpacks become pillows on T-Hall Lawn? If they can, I’m not sure I have them in my arsenal. So instead, I’ll tell a story.

When I look back on my college experience, I see it in two halves. My freshman year I spent at a different school in New York; I made it until mid-October before telling my parents I wanted to transfer.

Sophomore year, I spent the first spring day at UNH in bed, crying with the shades closed for hours, while the rest of campus went to the Lee Brice concert. At that time, I had two (incredible, loyal) people I could call close friends here. One was my roommate, and the other was my R.A. Junior year was sneaking up on me, and I was petrified of graduating without having found my niche, or the rest of my “people.” I was lonely and dramatic and utterly consumed with feeling sorry for myself. And that’s when I found TNH.

Or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say TNH found me. Its spokesperson came in the form of a small, green-eyed girl named Allison Bellucci. And before I knew she would become my best friend and confidant, my motivator and person most likely to accompany me on any adventure, Allie was just a classmate, asking if I wanted to apply to be a news editor. A little voice inside of me, whether it was intuition or desperation, told me to say yes that day. And honestly, I’ve never felt truly lonely since.

People call their college friends family all the time, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say our little newsroom, no matter how many larger ones I may work in, will have a piece of my soul forever. As newly elected Executive Editor Colleen Irvine once said, “you can’t fake it at 3 a.m.” Not everyone can say they’ve experienced unconditional love at 21, but these people, some of which I’ve only known for the last 8 months, have seen my best and worst. They’ve laughed and cried with me, and they’ve loved me anyway. That kind of support is rare and cosmic; it makes me want to hold on to this moment as tightly as I can. And if the hard times were the only reason I was granted these past two years, I’d do it all over again. 

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