In October 2015, my friend Matt’s life was cut short after a bicycle accident at the University of Delaware. Matt would be graduating this month, but instead, he won’t get the chance to walk at graduation, celebrate with his friends or embark on this next chapter.
I’ll never forget Oct. 23, 2015. Up until that point I’d complain about every test I had to study for, I’d count down the days until summer break and I’d skip out on opportunities because of my own fear and insecurities. I’d spend hours in my dorm room watching Netflix, wishing I was doing anything else.
I was at a wine night with my sorority when I got the news. I cried the entire ride back to campus on the late-night OCCT bus.
Just a year before, I hated Binghamton University. My mom urged me not to transfer, and unfortunately my grades suffered so badly that year, I had no choice but to stick around and give it a second try.
I began writing news for Pipe Dream and joined my sorority (despite having made fun of my friend Hannah for years about being in an engineering sorority). I finally had friends and felt happy to be at BU, but I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.
There were so many opportunities I was passing up — so many positions I didn’t run for, GIMs I didn’t go to and people I didn’t have the courage to talk to due to my own insecurities and lack of confidence in myself. I spent hours dwelling on what boys thought of me, who to invite to date functions and picking out the perfect outfit for a mixer.
When someone you know passes away, especially unexpectedly and suddenly, you realize how much you take for granted. The last time I had seen Matt was senior year of high school. We wished each other luck before an AP exam and exchanged goodbyes after the exam. An interaction that seemed like no big deal at the time ended up being our final interaction with one another.
When Matt’s life was cut short, I was halfway through college. I hadn’t made any significant achievements, my grades were OK and I spent so much time worrying about what people thought of me that I didn’t take time to appreciate the amazing people who already accepted me.
I sat down at my computer that semester and set goals for myself. I became president of my sorority, made the Dean’s List and made new memories. More importantly, I stopped stressing and dwelling on insignificant things. I wasn’t wasting my time overthinking situations or about what people thought of me. I became confident and comfortable in my own skin, and soon, what seemed like risks before just became opportunities that I was no longer afraid of. Confidence makes everything easier; I filled my college experience with fond memories and tried to never pass up on opportunities to challenge myself.
As I look back on my four years at BU, it’s not the high test grades or aced PowerPoint presentations that I remember, but rather the late nights at Tom’s, Pipe Dream productions and all of the time spent around those who’ve shaped my time here.
Alejandra, I am unsure where I’d be had I not met you at PFC rush. We are truly a dynamic duo, and I am beyond blessed that you’re my best friend. You’re one of the smartest, strongest and funniest people I know. Our chapter at Tom and Marty’s is ending, but I know we’ll create new memories in NYC.
Beth, I don’t think I could’ve done ISE without you. The late nights, venting sessions and PowerPoint creating were all worth it, because out of it I gained a lifelong friendship. You’re amazing and I cannot wait for many more years of adventure.
Tom and Marty’s, you’ve accepted me at my best and my worst. I’ll always be your biggest fan.
Mom and Dad, thanks for answering the phone when I call eight times a day. You’re the greatest.
Randy and Jane, this year wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing without our wine nights and Project Runway binges. You two are amazing humans and the best housemates. Please don’t lose touch.
Nasia, having a real-person job scares the shit out of me, but knowing you’ll be a ping away helps. Sorry for being rude to you in statics, but thank your mom for predicting our future.
Ylli, you’ll definitely go down as my weirdest friendship in college. You’re basically the male version of me so that might be it. I’m sorry for fighting with you all the time, but you peed my bed. Thanks for being insane.
Becca and Dana, you two are the only people I still talk to from my first semester at BU. Different sororities and majors, but we’ve still managed to remain friends. I hope that continues post grad. Love you both.
Hannah, I know you’re reading this, so thanks for telling me to not join A.O.E. Also, thanks for always listening to me rant, and for being the best fake sister and cousin. EQUALS forever.
A.O.E, my omicrons and my amazing lineage, I am forever thankful for this organization. You all shaped me and my college experience. I can’t wait to see the unmeasurable success you all achieve in life.
Jill, you’re going to KILL IT as digital editor. I can’t wait to see you expand the section and create awesome digital content.
To the Pipe Dream staff of 2017-18, thank you all for accepting me in this new role. I know I was new and most of you didn’t know me, but I’ll always cherish the time I spent in the office. I’ll never not be impressed by the amount of talent that each of you have. I’ll miss sitting quietly on the couch laughing at all of you in production.
Alana Epstein is the digital editor.