In hindsight, my pursuits during my stint at Binghamton University would strongly indicate that I’m a masochist. I ambled on in as a doe-eyed freshman and made setting the bar way too high a reoccurring theme. I underestimated how agonizingly slow things take to happen, especially the things you really want. I chased girls, dreams and a lucrative career, and I’m walking out of here alone, more of a realist and as an English major.

Hindsight is a son of a bitch.

That’s not to say that I didn’t get the bang for my buck that was promised to me when I committed to this value-packed institution, however.

Four years at BU have certainly instilled in me the diligence, resiliency and frugality required of a graduating English major. And I’ve made some serious strides in terms of personal growth during my time here as well. My posture has come a long way and is finally somewhat respectable. I’m now a seasoned eye-to-eye looker as I made improving eye contact a priority my sophomore year, and I also don’t apologize for every little action I take, as “I’m sorry” is no longer my default response for everything. I still maintain a certain insecurity that is associated with consciousness of mediocrity, but I’ve been able to dilute that with my hope for a bright future (my academic adviser assures me that I’m on the right track).

But that, in my opinion, is the hallmark of a recent college graduate: disappointment laced with personal growth. In my case, it’s all merged into a level of dissatisfaction that will be my greatest asset as I leave the only routine I’ve ever known. I may be alone, more of a realist and an English major entering a relentlessly unforgiving real world, but I’ll be laughing about all of my young adult struggles one day, right? I’m diligent. I’m resilient. I’m frugal. (I hope I’ll be laughing.)

What’s really weighing me down though is the nostalgia that one can only truly fathom at the doorsteps of graduation. Despite my better judgment, these days I find myself playing the “Will I ever see this person again for as long as I live?” game every time I part with a friend, an acquaintance or even a stranger whom I see around Binghamton often. It’s quite the self-defeating activity and I’d only recommend it to someone you hate, but it’s something I’ve had a lot of trouble suppressing. It’s an even more depressing game than it sounds because it’s immediately followed by the type of debilitating nostalgia that brings you to your knees metaphorically and forces you to stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath literally.

The silver lining lies in something a friend of mine once wrote. A person’s physical absence does not dictate their involvement in your life. There will still be those that continue to dance in the auditoriums of your dreams long after you’ve told them goodbye. For me, it’s already begun.

Anyone who’s been around me for any amount of time is familiar with my proclivity for naps. As a result of this, I’ve also got a tendency to experience those trippy nap dreams that aren’t possible during REM sleep, during which close friends and even perfect strangers make random, uninvited cameos, and you remember the entire strange happening.

So it’s time to get real — this is probably it for you and me. We may very well have crossed paths for the last time. So with that in mind, I hope you live a wonderful life and that you laugh about all of this someday.

See you in my dreams.