By Melynda Malley, Web Editor

I don’t know if I’m qualified to write a senior farewell. I joined the Collegian two months ago, so recently that my picture isn’t even on the staff page (my fault; I’m the web editor), so I was surprised when Allison asked if I wanted to write something. I’ve rewritten this about a billion times (okay, five) and still haven’t settled on what exactly I want to leave behind. A letter to my younger self? A senior will? A recap of my college experience, told through How I Met Your Mother gifs?

As I walked around campus a few weeks ago, I tried remember what it was like to see this place for the first time. I remember the buildings seemed bigger, the air fresher, everything brightly saturated with excitement. As I walked, I thought about what I’d say to that awkward, 19-year-old version of me, and came up with the following:

  • At registration, they’ll ask you what class you want to join. Always choose Ransomed. They are the smartest, funniest, and most aggressively ambitious group of people you may ever meet, and you’ll be lucky to call yourself one of them.
  • Think twice before tagging a tweet #RansomedRoast.
  • You will not be best friends with your first roommate. For your patience, you will be rewarded with a year and a half of living with Hannah Parks.
  • You are more than the sum of others’ opinions, good or bad. Don’t bet the ranch on a compliment, and don’t burn it down over a criticism.
  • You will never use the steps  in front of Hughes to get to chapel, no matter what your tour guide says. You’ll encounter God on those steps, though, twice. The first time you’ll expect it; the second time will blow your mind.
  • You’ll have to run those steps in Fitness Walking. You don’t know what Fitness Walking is yet, but I’m telling you: it’s your sport.
  • You’ll host Highbridge with a guy in a scuba suit and another guy dressed as toast and a girl who keeps throwing up. Unless you dreamed that.
  • Sarah Johnson is real, and it is spectacular.
  • There’s no way to get the caf smell out of that jacket. You just have to ride it out.
  • You are one of the freaks who stays close with her TAG group. They are good at listening and bad at Apples to Apples.
  • Be thankful for Don Mink, and anyone else who invests in your potential while you’re barely treading water.
  • You end up getting braces for a second time junior year. Sorry dude, rough twist.

I’m glad I can look back on college with a smile. When I first moved in, I was so out of place and culture-shocked. My pacific northwest wardrobe was a little too heavy for the southern humidity, and a little too sparse for the midwestern winters. I had no idea what to do in case of a tornado. I constantly craved sushi, which was just a bummer. There is a video of me mispronouncing the names of Kentucky towns that will still be on the internet when we’re all eighty. Little by little, this place wore me down and became a home. One day I will be somewhere else, craving Cane’s and Ale-8 and beautiful pasture views.

As for my senior will? I leave everything I’ve ever written in the capable hands of Andrew King and Tyler Horn. Make me look smarter and more talented than I was. I trust you. Liz Dresdow gets the tribal legacy, toilet seat and all. To Matthew Pertz, the hope that the soil queen never gets your feet. Bryce Hockema, I leave you a bag of Cheez-Its and a bottle of water. To Sheridan Swathwood, my collection of Mindy Kaling literature. And Kaiser, here’s your web editing job back. Thanks for letting me borrow it.

On that note, I bid you farewell. Insert How I Met Your Mother gif here.