Blogger: Maddy Farkas
To whomever is reading this, whether it be my mom, my boss, or my mom, hello for the final time. This is my 24th blog post while being at Oxy; I can say with confidence that many of these were mediocre at best, and often lacked any real substance, but there was something about reading my first blog post from September 2012 that really got me to think about how Oxy has made me the person that I am today. And it’s not easy to put these thoughts into words, so please bear with me for this one. I’m also writing this through tears, so excuse the typos because I don’t foresee myself taking the time to edit this over (much like many of the papers I wrote over the past 4 years….hey, I’m still graduating!).
In hopes of finding a narrative for which to structure this post, I went back and read all 23 of my previous blog posts, and it became clear to me just how much I have changed since my first day at Oxy in August 2012. It also became clear to me how little I remember of this person I once was. While reading my first post, although I saw traces of myself, it’s clear that I was missing so many key components of what I consider to be who I am today, and I was missing out on so many of the key components of Oxy that shaped that person. In my first post I talked about “how easy it is to talk to people, and how willing everyone is to make new friends.” (Yes, I’m quoting myself. Isn’t this what every academic strives for in their career?) What I didn’t realize was how many opportunities I was missing out on to meet those people. Sure, I became friendly with everyone in Braun and the Stew Crew. I did not, however, challenge myself by going to events or joining clubs outside of my comfort zone, where I would have met so many more interesting, dynamic, and older peers. Despite all of this, I was still able to recognize that there was something really special about the people I was meeting. This realization came to me over my first winter break, in which I reminisced, “To the people I only see in passing between classes and meals, to the people who are consistently studying in the Green Bean, and to the people who I’m with 18/7: life without you is pretty dull.” It’er and this still holds up - whenever I’m apart from my friends at Oxy, life is pretty darn dull.
And although I will be staying in Los Angeles, I will not be at Oxy. I will remain close with some of my friends, but not all. I will visit campus, but it will no longer be my home. And as quickly as my time here came and went, Oxy will become just a part of my history. A part of the stories I tell my children and grandchildren. A loaded scrapbook that won’t be made until I’m 70 and bored to tears. And by then I will have forgotten a lot of the specifics. As a senior, I already can’t remember specifics of my first year. It’s scary to think that soon I will be in a place where my time here won’t be at the forefront of my mind at every turn. So much of life is yet to come, and these four years were only a stepping stone. And I cry because, I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to leave behind friends. I don’t want to leave behind the person I became at Oxy. But I know I will, because that’s how life works. I’ll continue to grow and learn and meet new people and get new jobs and move to new places. What I do know is that I’m capable of handling these changes because of what Oxy gave to me.
When I was in high school, I liked to think that I knew everything about anything. I thought I was as well-rounded as they came. I wasn’t arrogant about it, but I was definitely confident. Now, looking back, I can’t even visualize that version of myself. That Maddy was still naive and unsure of who she was or where she fit into the world, but present day Maddy is a real person. Reading through my blog posts over the last 4 years proved to me that I did grow. Significantly. I realized that I had been living in my own world and acknowledged this and challenged myself to branch out, whether that meant getting a job or joining clubs or protesting for causes that a younger Maddy was too ignorant to take the time to get educated on. And the more I became involved, the more people I met. And now I can’t get anywhere on campus without stopping to talk to five people at a minimum, and this small community is truly what makes Oxy such a special place to me. I wish I could thank every single person that influenced who I am, but to save everyone from needing to look up the SparkNotes version of this blog post, I will do this: Thank you to my friends who held me when I was crying, or made late-night runs to taco trucks, or sat with me in my car for an hour just to talk and taste-test donuts. Thank you to my professors who supported me in all endeavors, or took me to Italy, or ignored the fact that I forgot to turn in five assignments and still gave me a B+ so I could graduate. Thank you to the Dining Staff who gave me five potstickers instead of four, or granted my senior wish of one last Potato Leek Soup, or laughed at me every time I dragged someone new into the Marketplace to pay for my meal that I could not afford. Thank you to my peers who I never got to know well enough and may not have gotten the same privilege of a support system from this institution as I so luckily received but still taught me how to recognize this privilege and use it to create change. All of you shaped this person that is leaving Oxy in a few days and I cannot find the words to express just how thankful I am for each and every one of you.
I may have a better idea of what I want to do than some people, and I may have less of a job or a plan than most people about to graduate, but it’s ok because I’m comfortable. I’m comfortable with who I am and where I’m going. Whether I get there right away is irrelevant because I’m finally the person that I always unintentionally strived to be. When I first visited Oxy after junior year of highschool, I walked through the campus and envisioned myself as a student here. I saw a version of myself that did not yet exist. And now I know that that person I saw is who I am today. I can’t say I’ve ever had as difficult a time saying goodbye to anything as I am having right now with Oxy because I’m not sure any place or thing will ever shape me in the way that this school has with me. But I can positively say that any goodbye you hear from me over the next few days is not goodbye. And that’s a promise.