How do you say goodbye to your home of four years?
I’ve spent the better part of the last two days trying to think about what it would mean to be writing the last blog post from Chicago (for now) after graduating from school. I have gotten to make so much of the four years I had here, and yet, I still just feel like I barely scratched the surface of what has become one of the most important places in the world to me. I haven’t visited dozens of neighborhoods, haven’t tried a ton of restaurants on my bucket list, nor have I felt like I branched out as much as I could to be a resident of the city. It all feels like things are ending too soon for me to really know what to do.
However, those caveats aside, I do think I tried my best to make the most of my time here. Going to school in the midst of a pandemic and the challenges that CTA has gone through since 2020, I still did and saw so much of this fantastic place. I made friends here away from campus, went to countless shows, visited museums and special exhibits, or just simply took the metra uptown to roam around the city late at night on a summer night alone. I have grown so much because of the challenges this city put me through. it was where I first became and got seriously involved in organizing. It was where I got to publish my writing to the public in a major US city. It was where I got my first barista job and really got into coffee like I never had before. It was where I got to find out who I sincerely felt like I wanted to be.
And, for now, it’s time to say goodbye. It has not been too strange just yet to say bye to friends, in large part because I know I will still see people, just maybe not all at once like I used to. There’s something so much more healthy about living in closer, walking distance and public-transit-driven spaces with your friends than anything else. It’s likely what contributes to college feeling so much more fulfilling in terms of relationships than at times high school could be. I would have to drive to see anyone, rather than now simply just getting up, walking over, and saying hello. I don’t know what it will mean to really recreate that in a new place, in a new city, especially once graduate school becomes a part of my life.
But rather than mourn that end, I’d want to celebrate it. I don’t really want to do the whole cliche “it’s not a…