Leaving school, leaving social circle

I haven’t cried since Jan. 10, 2009.

I’m sure you remember where you were on that fateful day, when Lendale White and Alge Crumpler each fumbled inside the opponent’s 20 yardline, and the Tennessee Titans fell to the Baltimore Ravens, 13-10, in the AFC Divisional Playoff. When the clock hit triple zeroes in the fourth quarter, all that was left of me was a slew of expletives and a puddle of tears.

I don’t tell you this to point out how much of a man I am that I don’t cry. My not crying is a combination of how little emotion I show and how good my life has been because I haven’t had any reason to cry since.

I share that anecdote because my tearless streak will most likely be coming to an end in the coming month, specifically the date most seniors are dreading: May 17, graduation day.

I won’t cry because I’m leaving Oswego State, although this place has treated me well over the last four years. I will cry because of the people I’ll be leaving. There are so many things that have made my time here the best of my young life, but by far, the people are the No. 1 reason.

I’ve been fortunate enough to share my college experience with so many great people. To call them friends would be an insult to the bonds we’ve created over the past four years. They are my family, just as much as anyone I share a surname with.

Saying goodbye won’t be easy, but I also know it won’t be the final time I will see all of them. For many, it might be a while before we are able to reunite, but that’s OK. It won’t change what we have gone through together, and we will always be able to share that.

But I also know that there will be others with whom I will remain close for the rest of my life, and, although they may not be of the same nature as the ones we already have, I look forward to creating new memories with them down the road.

But I think what I’ll miss most is the total access to my friends practically whenever I want. Right now, if I’m bored I can easily walk to a friend’s house or go visit my girlfriend. A year from now, that might not be possible. The constant socialization is what makes college as great as it is.

The memories I’ve formed of this place will all be fond, and I look forward to sharing them someday. Words cannot do any justice to how I feel about my time at Oswego State. This place is special, but it isn’t that way because of the location or the educational value. It’s all about the people you share it with. And I guarantee that is the most important thing you will learn here.

So when May 17 rolls around, the tears may finally flow. And while I’ll be sad my streak is over, I’ll be glad it was for something worth crying about.