What a journey these four years have been. I have fallen in love with so many wonderful people. I met the boy who is now the man of my dreams, and the best friends who are my soulmates. I am ready to leave…but it isn’t really leaving, is it? As I write the last 200 words of my last undergraduate paper, I realize how much I have grown and learned throughout these past four years. I have grown close to professors who have helped me become the teacher I know I will be. I have become a stronger performer. I have learned more about love and life than I ever could outside the “bubble” of TCNJ. I thank you, Lions, for being who you are. I thank the English Department for being everything I could have wanted and more. I have learned about Edward Albee’s insanely brilliant mind, Kurt Vonnegut’s biting wit, Sylvia Plath’s desperate, beautiful sadness, Jane Austen’s crafty wordiness, Shakespeare’s passion and power, and, above, all, the fact that the love I have for literature is shared by so many.
Thank you, TCNJ, for an outstanding 4 years. I could not fathom spending my undergraduate career and my life for 4 yearsanywhere else. I have loved this place, and will always consider it one of my homes.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
—Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”
I’m ready, world.
Keira Knightley in Atonement
Because Tim Curry. Don’t tell me it isn’t DAMN catchy.