As I write this, I am sitting in my last divisional that I need in order to graduate, the afternoon after an all-nighter. To say I am tired is an understatement. This last year has left me physically tired and mentally exhausted. If anyone asks, I am more than ready to graduate. This is not to say I won’t miss Wake Forest or the community I built, but sometimes in life you know when it is time to leave. Time to go somewhere new and see where life takes me.
While I am not unique in this feeling, when I talk to my fellow seniors, I feel as if it is more common to hear a narrative that yearns not to leave but stay here. I understand this has been our home for four years, and we have a multitude of memories all over the campus. I too am sad to leave but it is vital we remember that the life beyond Wake Forest, while uncertain and vast, is full of new people and experiences.
This uncertainty understandably scares some, but for me it’s exciting because anything is possible. As not just college graduates, but Wake Forest graduates, we are entering the world with a world-class education and experiences that will forever shape our future. This is not to say Wake Forest is perfect, but personally, while faults exist, Wake Forest has given me more than I ever thought possible. I have gleaned knowledge from a multitude of fields, found lifelong friends, fallen in love, found my passion in life and grown into someone I am proud to be. I am not saying Wake Forest is the cause of all this, but it facilitated the unforgettable journey that the past four years have been for me.
However, Wake Forest is not just a physical space or obscure entity; it is a community that is built by those in it. I won’t say I have enjoyed everyone that builds this campus, but I will say I have met many just beautiful people here, and they have contributed in making Wake Forest a home for me. I want to say again though; this home has flaws. Wake Forest has a lot of room to grow in becoming a more inclusive campus around many identity markers and beyond. Additionally, I have to acknowledge how my identity as a white heterosexual male has benefitted me in navigating the social space of Wake Forest. However, an imperfect home is a home nonetheless. And while I am ready to leave home, I understand others being wary. Given my soon departure, I want to mention a couple things that I will miss with all my heart with the end of my undergraduate career.
First off, I want to give a big thank you to the best college newspaper there is. The Old Gold & Black has been such a pivotal part of my time at Wake Forest in the community it gave me and the opportunity to polish both my journalistic and comedic careers. For you avid OGB readers, you know the OGB has allowed me to write and draw some straight up goofy stuff that even if it didn’t make others laugh, it sure did make me. I will miss the late nights in our fifth-floor office and the changing name of our GroupMe. I want to give a big thanks to my dear friend Henry Bonilla who was the reason I got involved with the paper.
Speaking of Henry, I want to say thank you to my best friends who I have had to the privilege to live with during my time at Wake Forest. Thank you, Zach, Kevin, Varun, Wesley, Anuj, Henry, Taylor, Char and Joseph. Living with your best friends is something I will miss dearly; knowing when I come home late after studying for hours that I will see my best friends makes the end of the night spectacular.
Since nights have been brought up, I have to shout out the BEST party post of my college career. Last Resort has been a place of refuge that has enabled me to dance my heart out every Thursday night while quenching my thirst.
Did someone say thirst? I think some of Moe’s Southwest Grill’s thick queso can help that thirst. While many know me for my love of Last Resort, my first love was Moe’s Southwest Grill. No matter how hard the rice was, no matter how salty or wet the chips were, I loved every meal.
Since meals got mentioned, a warm shout out to the best service-based organization on campus, Campus Kitchen. Being part of CK has been so important to me in both serving and connecting to the larger Winston-Salem community. I love all my CK family and will always be part of the Wake Forest Campus Kitchen.
There are a multitude of other things I would like to thank, including professors, BRANCHES, BUILD, eSports Association, PHI and many more either organizations or people. Sadly though, I am running out of space. With this, I end my ode to Wake Forest and end my last article for the Old Gold & Black. Thank you for reading my friends, keep chilling, go to LR every week and support your local Moe’s Southwest Grill. But mostly, be reflective over your time at Wake Forest and thank those who made this place a home.