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Opinion >> The Big Picture
It has recently come to my attention that, despite my own wishes to the contrary, I will be graduating from our campus several weeks from now. As something which seems to increase in its unavoidability with each passing day, anticipation of the pending event has released a flood of reflective emotions upon my already convoluted brain. It has been joked by friends of mine that my time at the Daily Nexus has largely resulted in a string of articles highlighting things which cause my annoyance or disappointment, and to a certain extent I have to admit to the validity of this opinion — and especially so since this, my last piece with the Nexus, will primarily focus on something which I dislike more than almost anything else: the unavoidability and necessity of learning how to say goodbye.
It is not so much the act of saying goodbye which bothers me. In fact, most people close to me will attest to my own personal belief that one of the main purposes of life is learning how to come to terms with the inevitability of having to say farewell to so many different things: friends, places we have loved and eventually even our own lives. This is not even something which is up for negotiation; it is an austere certainty in a world otherwise replete with uncertainty.
It is not saying goodbye which troubles me as much as the concept of finality which frequently accompanies it. And in that sense, as far as my leaving this campus is concerned, I am untroubled, since UCSB will continue to exist and thrive without my presence — as will this publication.
It is this reality of our university which I believe has — out of all other things — caused my strongest respect for it as an institution. While this is a place quite unlike any other, I am sure that you have found that life here is not without its difficulties — not because attending a beautiful beachfront research campus causes difficulties, but rather because life necessarily includes bad experiences alongside the good.
During my time here, it was frequently on unpleasant days that I found myself walking at the beach, staring at the ocean and realizing that I loved it for the same reason that I have admired this campus. Ever-shifting, ebb and flow, the ocean never really seemed to change. It always seemed oddly eternal despite the changes in its composition.
Similarly, the elements which this university is comprised of are in a constant state of fluctuation, yet somehow there is something which persists and connects all who have been here. Walking through campus I cannot help but wonder how many people have fallen in love here, or who have discovered what they wanted to do with their life here, or who have experienced any number of the other extraordinarily important things which characterize life while they were here.
It is for this reason that I have no qualms about the inevitability of my farewell, because UCSB will continue to affect the lives of others in the way it has affected my own. When I walk out of the campus, I will not be able to help but wonder how many people will fall in love here, or who will discover what they want to do with their life here, or who will experience any number of the other extraordinarily important things which characterize life while they are here. Indeed, just like the act of bidding farewell, these are also inevitabilities.
Jonathan Rogers is ready for the next adventure.