By Sofia Jeremias | Editor-in-Chief

The first time I stepped on to Saint Mary’s campus I cried and broke out into hives. Do not be mistaken, these were not tears of joy. I did not want to go here. I was terrified of ending up in the isolated albeit picturesque town of Moraga. I’d wanted to go somewhere metropolitan, a place where students spent their free time discussing Camus and Sartre (a place largely created in my imagination). 

Saint Mary’s wasn’t the place I wanted to go, it was the place I needed to go. I can’t thank the fates enough for going against the judgment of my 17-year-old self. My cynicism was met with an unfamiliar kind of sincerity that gradually began to pervade my own mindset.

I was able to form friendships with my professors, who turned out to be some of the most intelligent and kind individuals I’ve met. When I questioned a concept, I was provided with opportunities to sit down and argue about them. Every time I expressed interest in a new subject, they steered me towards new authors, painters, and philosophers, always eager to share their vast wealth of knowledge with a curious mind.

I didn’t have a college experience that resembled anything remotely similar to those of my friends from high school. Saint Mary’s was not a platform for “fun” in the traditional sense of the word. It was a time of intense intellectual growth where opportunities to push myself to the absolute limit were presented. I only had to ask.

Despite my dubious expectations, I became fond of Saint Mary’s. Now, as my departure from its stucco walls, forests, and hills comes near, I feel confident in my abilities to meet the world.

I found kind mentors amongst the staff of The Collegian and amidst my supervisors at College Communications. I can’t thank my predecessors enough for including me on the The Collegian staff. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know hard working, passionate individuals who have dedicated countless hours to putting together the newspaper week after week.

My appreciation for Saint Mary’s doesn’t just amount to a simple warm and fuzzy feeling. I was skeptical from the beginning and didn’t expect to come away with much besides a diploma and a shot at graduate school.

But here I am, planning on traveling almost 3,000 miles to one of the largest cities in the world feeling more than a twinge of sadness. So, my final broadcast to you, fellow Saint Mary’s students, is to cherish the support you have now. Take advantage of the brilliant minds that have dedicated their time to instructing you. Appreciate the faculty who care enough to challenge you, who consider your humanness and are willing to treat you as such. Take it from a cynic, this place, this bubble of higher education, is truly exceptional and with a blink of the eye, your time will be over.

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