The weeks leading up to my inevitable departure from UMass Amherst are but a blur at this point, a torrent of papers, finals, and tough goodbyes. I remember having to check the "One Way" box when purchasing my flight, which at the time seemed like exile, or even a death sentence. I remember sitting in Marcus Hall for the last time, frantically typing away at my Machine Learning final, wondering when I'd next see any of the people around me. I remember walking out of my last class, a 4 PM history GenEd about the American family. I remember the strange feeling of seeing my bedroom empty, something I hadn't seen since I moved in nearly two years prior. Compared to the next steps in my life, these memories are fairly small events, which somehow makes them more important, you know?
I'm happy to report that my last moments on the East Coast were not squandered. Despite being given enough clues and slip-ups to paint the picture pretty vividly, I was still shocked to walk into a room at Dave and Buster's and find my friends all gathered together. This was great for a few reasons:
- I have some pretty sweet friends.
- Dave and Buster's is my jam.
- I got to say all my goodbyes at once, and go out with a bang.
It goes without saying that I had a blast, and though it gets a little fuzzy towards the end, I doubt I'll be forgetting it any time soon. So thank you to my thoughtful, wonderful parents for pulling the whole thing together, and my friends for being there.
Leaving is hard. Even once you've said all the proper goodbyes, it's hard to leave if you don't know when you're coming back. My grandma tried to play it like I would never see her again, and while she very well may be right, I wasn't ready to admit that to myself. But time marches on, and with the help of my good friend Pat K., I made it to the airport well ahead of schedule, packed with everything I could fit into a mid-sized suitcase. With two hours to kill, I did what any reasonable person would do and got belligerently drunk off of martinis at the airport bar. Good times.