Commencement: The good in goodbye

Christine Colleran

This is my last opinions column, and I have never been any good at goodbyes. I am not exaggerating.

My normal goodbye face is scrunched and constipated looking, with fat tears rolling down it. My nose usually runs, which is always super sexy, and I make these dramatic gasping noises that can best be compared to a wheezing seal. Goodbyes suck, and I avoid them at all costs.

For this reason, I will put off saying goodbye until the end of the column and instead do a little reflection on my year as a columnist at the Grand Valley Lanthorn. To the people and groups I have offended — including but not limited to: the Women’s Center, our IT department, campus police, hipsters, Apple enthusiasts and some professors — I hope there is no bitterness between us. While I always mean what I write, I never write with the intent to offend — unless you are E.L Shames (whoops, I meant James) and happen to be the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

To the Lanthorn, I appreciate you for being an excellent employer and always standing by my right to express a sometimes unpopular opinion. In fact, I like you guys so much that I don’t even mind that the picture besides my column occasionally gets double printed, causing me to look more like a creature out of “Aliens vs. Predators” rather than a lowly newspaper columnist. It made things exciting.

On a very serious note, to the students who took time out to respond to my columns or write me personally, it meant a lot. Whether you wrote a friendly, appreciative note or a scathing letter telling me that I misunderstand humanity, the fact that you cared enough about the things that I had to say is inspiring. I have friends that work at other school papers and I know they don’t get as much feedback as I do at Grand Valley.
You guys are concerned citizens and students — that is awesome. Never stop doing this.

As I pen (who says that anymore?), correction — type, my last few words to you guys I hope that you remember two things from my columns and about opinions in general. First, opinions are important. Don’t disregard them.

I know we love facts at college, but ultimately it is with opinions that we operate on a day to day basis. They open the door to diversity and give us insight into both the topic at hand and the person discussing it.

Second, never shy away from expressing your own opinion, provided you have some knowledge surrounding the subject. There is nothing quite as disappointing than letting a moment pass in which you desired to speak up and couldn’t find your voice.

It’s been four years here at Grand Valley. I am not sure whether I am more astounded that I am graduating or that I made it to graduation without getting a Minor in Possession (MIP) ticket. Regardless, I am happy to have experienced college at Grand Valley, and would do it over again if I had the chance, MIP-happy police and all. We have it good here, and I hope everyone can look around and realize that. So goodbye GVSU, I will miss you.

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