When I started this column in September 2015, I was a fresh sophomore with a battered notebook and a Samsung Galaxy. At that point in my life, I had moved out of Warren Towers, was getting ready to take on a dual-degree program and was still grieving that I had been broken up with via poem the semester prior.
I knew I wanted to write for The Daily Free Press, but I wasn’t sure what I had to say. I was too subjective for regular news reporting, and as much as I loved playing sports, I never thought I could cover a game.
After five years of diary writing and reviewing, the one topic I always found was the subject of relationships. Inspired by being thought of as the collegiate Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City,” I applied to be a weekly columnist.
I am now a senior, who is graduating in a few short weeks. I moved off-campus, got an iPhone after my Android days and replaced the battered notebooks. I moved to and from London, fell in love, had my heart broken more than I thought I could bear, made a lot of mistakes and tried to be as candid as possible in my articles. I wrote about my parents’ divorce, about perpetually being the girl before the girlfriend, cuffing and uncuffing season, being in love with my friends and moving on from a thrice broken heart.
As much as this column was something I made for myself — to call out those who had hurt me and to bring attention to certain behaviors and trends I was noticing, it was also something that I wanted to make for the reader. I wanted those who were experiencing these things like being gaslit, ghosted, zombied or even being cheated on, to know that there was a voice out there talking about them.
Of course, I cannot speak to experiences that are not my own, but I always hoped I could talk about things that I saw were happening in college. Relationships were shaping all around me — people falling in love, falling out of favor with each other, moving in and moving on.
There are a few people I would like to thank during this final love letter. To my friends, thank you for liking, sharing and most importantly, reading my articles. Your support always kept me going, and I love you more than I think I could ever put into words, no matter how many of them I use. To my family, thank you for reading these articles and passing limited judgments. I know what I write about isn’t what we talk about during holidays, but thank you for being there. To my parents, thank you for letting me write about your divorce, I learned a lot trying to look through your eyes. To the boy who once told me “I never want you to write about me in your column,” I’m sorry. Our story was too funny, too long and too emotional to not share to possibly hundreds of people.
And to the boy who thinks most of this is about him, it’s not. To my editors, thank you for taking the time to put up with half-developed pitches, countless grammar mistakes and years of my “just finishing it up!” texts when the piece had 600 more words to go. Most importantly, thank you for taking a chance on the girl with the battered notebooks and jaded optimism, who had a pen in one hand and her heart in the other, wanting to tell some stories.
And to you, dear reader, thank you. You have been here, a silent observer in my life, witnessing the pitfalls and the moments of laughter, following me from the streets of Boston to the cities of Europe and back. Thank you for letting me be a small mouthpiece and self-proclaimed “expert” on the topic of millennial dating. Hopefully, I did some of our experiences justice. Hopefully, I made you proud. Thank you for reading.
I hope you learned something along the way, but most importantly, I hope you find the love you deserve in whatever form it takes — familial, platonic, romantic or the like. As I wrote in my very first column, the longest relationship we have is with ourselves. It’s true, but it’s always nice to have someone by our side for the journey, no matter who that may be.
Some last parting words before I go: There is some hurt out there, but there is also love. Find those things that make you smile, find the people you are meant to love and hold onto to them for the days when you feel hurt outweighs love. Relationships end, people change their minds and sometimes we are the ones that get lost in the shuffle.
Mourn when you have to, celebrate when you want to and love when it may be hard to. If all else fails, write it out — the next chapter in this story is yours. I love you.