Loving yourself is not easy. Being confident is not easy. But with the right kind of people around you, it doesn’t have to be hard.

I don’t enjoy giving advice, so I’ll quote “Bojack Horseman”: “In this terrifying world, all we have are the connections that we make.” The kind that are strong and meaningful and change the way we are for the better. These are the kinds of connections that have shaped me into the person I have grown to love today.

I spent way too long thinking about what I could make this senior column about and I’ve decided to do what most people aren’t used to seeing me do — show emotion and show that, although it may not look like it, I do care about many of you.

My first roommate in college was this bushy-haired kid who was the biggest extrovert I have ever met; his name is Josh. I, on the other hand, entered college terrified and ready to never leave my room. Needless to say, Josh never let me stay in my room for too long; for that, I am eternally grateful. You have become my family and I cannot wait to see where we go from here.

One of the first people Josh introduced me to was this odd Greek kid with a funny accent; his name is Alex. Things would not be the same if he weren’t around to always almost get those American sayings right. I also do not know where my photography would be if I did not constantly have him available to model. Let’s see what else you finesse going forward in life.

Markell and Mike, I don’t think I’ve met people as easygoing as I am, aside from you guys. I know I’ll find you both being successful while still playing way too much Overwatch. I can’t imagine a better group of guys to have lived with for the past four years. To the rest of 109 Chestnut, you’re all some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Tai and Mags, I’m glad you guys stuck around ever since that meetup so long ago. I’m also glad we have managed to corrupt you guys the way we have; it’s always fun doing dumb stuff with great people by your side. I know you two will be the most successful out of all of us.

Pipe Dream, you have helped me progress my photographic skills on an exponential level. I can’t look back on college and not think about Pipe Dream. I also won’t forget all the people I’ve spent countless hours in that Marketplace basement with. But, best of all, thank you for letting me have so many nice cameras at my disposal.

PRISM, thank god you came along and helped me be my most creative in college. You have allowed me to showcase my wonderful multicultural community in such a beautiful way. I can’t wait to see you prosper and grow. Along with that, Kara, thank you for constantly bugging me to take photos for PRISM and allowing me to just throw in any idea that pops up into my head. You’ve allowed me to discover what kind of photographic style I love.

Everyone in ISE, I don’t care what any one of the other engineers say. While they were dying in their books, we were doing our work, then immediately going out to the bars. We are the best of the engineers.

Theta Tau, you guys are the biggest group of weirdos I’ve met. Don’t ever change.

As I near the end of my undergraduate career, I am just as terrified as I was the day I moved in freshman year. But the connections I am taking with me have made me ready to face this terrifying world.

Kevin Paredes is the photography editor. He was the assistant photography editor in fall 2016.