I started this school year reflecting on how university has been the best and worst time of my life. Now that the school year and my undergraduate career are almost over, I want to reflect on my last four years on campus.

In just over a month I’ll have finished my last undergraduate classes and exams. For a lot of people, this is a really exciting time. It is for me too, but I’m also having a bit of a hard time coming to terms with how fast the last four years went by. As much as I’m ready to be done with the endless hours of readings, writing papers and studying, part of me isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Laurier or Brantford yet.

Maybe I’m struggling because I grew up here, or because of the thousands of good memories I’ve created over the past four years. All I know is that by the end of April I will never have to come back to Brantford if I don’t want to, which kind of sucks. Being at Laurier has given the opportunity to meet some of my best friends, work for a student paper that has paid me to write about my feelings or what’s happening on campus, and learn about topics that will influence my choices for the rest of my life. It might sound dramatic, but I owe the person I am right now to the past four years on this campus.

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I’m actually going to miss being downtown. Honestly, nothing is funnier than explaining the mix of people I interact with on a daily basis to strangers. I met a guy at my boyfriend’s Christmas party that went to Laurier Brantford and we immediately bonded over the craziness we’d both seen downtown. It’s almost like a right of passage when you go to this campus. That being said, being downtown is also really nice sometimes. In the winter when everything’s covered in snow and all of the Christmas lights are up, or in the spring when all of the flowers are planted, Victoria Park is beautiful. After a crappy class or stressful day, walking through there always made me feel better. It’s weird knowing that’s not something I’ll be doing on a regular basis anymore.

It’s completely possible that by September I’ll feel differently, but it’s hard not to be sentimental right now. I’m going to miss living so close to my friends. I’m going to miss impromptu social gatherings, going out even though it’s the middle of the week, and knowing that if anything was wrong I could just walk down the hall or down the street and I’d have someone to talk to. I’m going to miss being able to bounce ideas and questions off professors that are passionate about a subject. Most of all, I’m going to miss the familiarity and comfort I’ve come to know over the past four years.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you. To all of my friends, most of my professors, and Laurier Brantford as a whole, thanks for being exactly what I needed over the past four years. I truly don’t know where I’d be – or who I’d be – without you.

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