In terms of giving thanks, I wholeheartedly believe you can never say it or express it enough to those who have so heavily impacted you. Sometimes I think it odd that another human soul can give another so much of themselves and still not be drained so as to stop that giving process.
But, as I have come to learn, for which I am very grateful, we are often capable of giving more than we thought possible.
I know I have another quarter at UCI, but it already feels like the end. And when things end, we often say thank you (we say goodbye too, but I don’t think that’s appropriate to say yet).
So, I guess that’s what this post is for. A little bit of sentiment amidst a whirlwind of last minute trip preparations, fretting over final grades, and midnight snacking. A gigantic pile of laundry sits atop my bed as I sit on my roommate’s much comfier mattress, and I am slightly overcome with a sense of urgency. I’ll try to make this quick, but I don’t think that’ll happen. And it is by no means an all-encompassing list of thank-you’s, but a never-ending, never-quite-good-enough compilation of “thank you for entering my life and believing in me”.
Professors & Academics: I had a wonderful evening with a great professor and mentor that I have grown to admire, respect, and love. I think that often people see professors as intimidating species with lengthy egos and equally lengthy lists of publications. And while that may be true for some of them, a vast majority of the ones I have had the privilege of getting to know have been genuine and kind in almost every way possible. I thank them for their authenticity, dedication, and passion they bring each and every day of their lives. I thank them for pushing me to follow my own interests and for providing me with a model of how to conduct myself in order to make myself (hopefully) as good of as an academic as they are.
Housing: My first real employment was given to me by UCI Housing. I met and made great friends, obtained some life skills (like learning to deal with people on a regular basis), overcame a lot of my own insecurities, and found out that a home isn’t always a place, but the company you keep. Thank you to Middle Earth for three great years, and to Mesa Court for giving me the chance to remove myself from things I had known before and allowing me to step outside of everything, if only for a little while.
Friends: I could write for days about the friends I have made here. But, sadly, I do not have days to write about them–I’d rather be spending time with them. My experiences throughout my life have been shaped by the friends I have made and kept or fallen out of touch with. Thank you to my friends that have pushed me out of my comfort zones and pulled up a chair to sit right next to me through it all. People say a lot about opportunities. They thank people for opportunities and possibilities that they’ve been given. But I thank my friends for providing me with the foresight and clarity one needs to even begin to think about opportunities they have. Thank you for putting up with my second-guessing, my irrational behavior, my food cravings, my shower-singing, and dance parties of one. Thank you for being there when I need, giving me space when I need, and sticking by me even if I say “you don’t have to”. I would probably, most likely be a completely incapable person without you all.
UCI: I am so proud to have been able to call you my home for my college career (and beyond). I cannot imagine a better place to learn, grow, and better myself. It is so amazing how much a person can begin to love a place. I thank you for the amazing faculty, students, and professionals you have brought together. Yes, it’s true that every university has some negatives, and I have surely complained about my fair share of them. But regardless, I am proud to have been an Anteater, and the opportunities I have been given and taken have changed me for the better. Thank you for giving me encouragement and an environment to develop in. I can only hope and work hard so that I may one day return as an Anteater as a professor, ready and willing to give back to this community.
Much like life, this is a work in progress. Stay tuned, or don’t. It’s really your decision.