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A love letter to Athens: Goodbye

I finally understand Season 5, Episode 22 of “Grey's Anatomy,” and I wish I didn’t. 

“Today is the day my life begins,” read the commencement speech of a recent college graduate. “Today I become accountable to the world, to the future, to the possibilities that life has to offer.” 

As Alex Karev read that speech back to the young woman who wrote it before she went into surgery, I became obsessed with it and wondered what it would feel like to be “done” with education and start my own life. Since August, those words haven’t been far from my mind, and in just under three weeks, I become a grown-up, too. 

When I was getting ready to graduate high school, people said college would be the best but quickest four years of my life, and they were right. As graduation nears, my mind is constantly flooded with the best hits — my favorite memories with my best friends — and I can’t help but wonder where the time went. 

It feels like just last semester I was on a Zoom call meeting my soon-to-be best friend who had recently joined The Post’s news section as a publication design major. The party where I met some of my favorite people — several having since graduated, but many graduating with me in three weeks —  feels like it happened this February, not three years ago. 

In so many ways, I am not ready to leave Athens. I would give a lot up to have one more year living with my best friend, who is now one of the closest things I have to a sister, to have another year of late nights at the CI and Stephen’s, to have one more family dinner at the apartment above Brenen’s. 

The spontaneity that comes with college is what I will miss most — the ability to coordinate last-minute dinner plans with friends within an hour of eating or impulsive decisions to go out on a Tuesday or Wednesday night with my roommate. 

More important than the spontaneity itself is the people I can be impulsive with. “Cookies,” as we’ve called our iMessage chat since freshman year, has been the most formative group of people in my life. From heartbreak to happiness, they have carried me through the last four years and taught me to live life with joy. 

As I look toward graduation, I am immensely proud of myself. Not just in terms of my academic, extracurricular and professional success, but in my sense of self. While it may sound corny, I know exactly who I am. I’ve grown from a bubbly but anxious girl into someone who goes after what they want and lives life to actually live instead of worry. 

I’m not ready to leave my friends, forced to watch their success through my phone screen rather than directly in front of me, but I am ready for my life to begin. So, while I wish I didn't understand that speech from Season 5, Episode 22 of Grey’s Anatomy just yet, I am ready to be accountable to the possibilities of the world, my future and life.

I’ve spent 16 years preparing for the real world, and I can’t wait to start living in it. Athens, I will never be able to shake you. Thanks for the best four years of my life. 

Molly Wilson is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Molly by tweeting her at @mollywmarie

Molly Wilson

News Editor

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