They call this a "farewell" column. But I'm not going to because I prefer to say "hello."
Hello to the unknown. Hello to finding our niches in this world. Hello to health insurance and the white picket fence. Hello to no more research papers, bubble sheets or cumulative examinations. Hello to that period of life when going out on a Tuesday night will no longer be so socially acceptable.
Most of all, I would like to say hello to some people who have helped make my time here so memorable.
We come to college for higher learning, but what they fail to tell you is where the learning takes place. The amount of knowledge and lessons I've collected in Chapel Hill could fill a hundred Davis libraries, but only one paperback came from the classrooms.
Cheers to everyone I've met here.
Wil, you're a little thicker in the middle and thinner on the top now. But that's because you soak up every last drop of life that comes your way. Whether it's to hit the road, hit Franklin Street, go see that band, go to the game, go play golf, racquetball, tennis or basketball, you're always the first in line -- unless the line starts before 1 p.m. Thanks for letting me stand in line with you.
J.J., the first time I met you, you offered me a beer. Love at first sight. You have the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known, even if it is a bit misguided at times. It's hard to imagine what these last four years would've been like if I hadn't known you, without your calling me on Sunday and Monday nights to ask, "Are you partying tonight or no?" Well, I probably would've made it to class occasionally.
Turner, it's been a pleasure watching you come out of your shell and away from your books more often. The displays in Wilmington and at Money Shots were spectacular. We all know you're going to achieve your meteoric goals. Don't forget to keep enjoying the ride there.
Kate, because of you I've learned more about myself than I thought existed. You opened my eyes so wide I'll never be able to shut them again. Thank you.
Nisu, Standing Puke, you took a chance on some gritty white boys from the streets of Motown. I'm glad we didn't scare you off. We've had many laughs and games of hoops. Thanks for all the rides home to Greene Street at 2:15 in the morning.
Lanier, few people I've met here have I felt as comfortable talking with. The 2,600 miles to nowhere special in one week and the middle-of-the-night conversations will last forever.
Mital, you're hysterical -- and loud. Very loud. Even though you cheat at cards, you're always the life of the party. And you take a joke as well as you give one.
Brian, thanks for talking like Kramer. You come and go a lot, but we can always hear you coming.
Lauren, Barker's beauty, thanks for not shunning me after I made constant fun of you when we met. Sorry.
Lock, thanks for being late every single time. You owe us all dozens of drinks that we missed.
Jen and Lindsay, the ride back from Key West was enlightening -- even though not once did you offer to drive.
Dan and Tubbs, I was the only one who stood firm when the cops showed at your house. Where were you guys?
Callie, thanks for making me dinner when everyone was out of town. The tuna steak was delicious.
Amanda, Kelly and Leslie, you put the South in South Campus back in the day on the ninth floor. See you at Steps.
Now it's time for us to move on, for better or for worse. Nineteen days until G-Day, almost countable on our fingers. I know we'll make the most of them. We wouldn't have it any differently than the last 1,353.
I guess now we start counting down to retirement.
It'll be fun to watch where we all go between now and then.
Mike Ogle can be reached at email@example.com.
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