Celebrating Endings: A Reflection on Four Years of Augustana


I planned this article title months ago, when I was setting up the publishing schedule for the year. I hoped at that time that I would have something to say that could live up to a title like this, and that the words would come easy when it came time. Really, there is so much to talk about. The words should come easy. But unfortunately, Augustana has a way of making goodbyes come too soon, and hit too hard.

I have to submit my final undergraduate paper ever tomorrow. I know that I should have been working on it all week, perfecting it to make myself proud when I look back at the pinnacle of my written history here, but I haven’t been able to touch it until today, when I absolutely need to. Maybe I’m scared to finish and submit it and truly let go of my very last year here; or maybe I’m just following my self-made tradition of four long years of procrastination. Either way, I know that hitting that submit button on eClass for the very last time is not going to be easy.

Throughout the past four years, I’ve been told over and over again how special Augustana is. I think it’s hard to fully grasp what senior students are talking about until you’re the one leaving. Augustana has given me so many things: my best friends for life, my first little rental home full of memories, connections with some of the best mentors I could ever ask for, a CV full of experiences I struggle to describe on paper, and the confidence to move on from here and accomplish something great. I can’t speak for every fourth year, but I know that most of us are feeling bittersweet this exam period: beyond ready to be done with school and to take on the summer, but trying not to think too far into the future, because all of this won’t be a part of it.

I’m grateful for the Augustana experience. I’m grateful for the people here, the community we’ve built, the professors who take the time to stop and chat, the administrators who have done their best to keep providing us with a quality education amid budget cuts, Covid, and more, the ASA members who work tirelessly to advocate for us and bring us events (and free food) as often as possible, the cafeteria workers who kept us fed in first year and beyond, the cafe staff, who kept us awake and dealt with our pre-caffeinated selves, and so many more. I have a feeling that my connection with Augustana isn’t ending, and I hope I’m not alone when I say that I will be back to visit. Thank you, Augustana, for four magical, unpredictable, unforgettable years.

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