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Grad guide 2015: A senior’s farewell to Oregon

I began college like most other students. Intimidated, not super excited about living in Bean and with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my life.

Enter in Math 111. My first college course. It was in Deady, in a chair nailed to the floor with a desk smaller than my notebook. The grad student teaching the course used only the blackboard, there was nothing on the walls and we were so high up I couldn’t look out the windows and daydream.

One failed introductory exam later, my GTF and I decided that it wasn’t going to work out and we agreed to go our separate ways.

This wasn’t my proudest moment and it was certainly one of the most disappointing.

Reflecting four years later I can see that University of Oregon has provided me with a platform that allowed me to discover and define success for myself. The U of O didn’t abandon me when I failed, it helped me get back on my feet and pushed me to do and be better.

I’ll miss the feeling I get when I cross Kincaid and enter campus. It’s like passing through this bubble where everyone is proud, driven and wearing green and yellow.

Sure there are a lot of bike wheels sitting lonely on a rack, and there are some crazy people protesting that yoga pants are a sin — but that’s beside the point.

The U of O provides an amazing milieu, where the rivers of culture, politics, language, learning, temperaments, abilities and talents join forces and change lives. People come here from all over the world (but mostly California) bringing their unique spark and drive to the table.

The U of O provided me with so much more than classrooms to learn in for four years. It taught me about friendship, pride and pushing myself. It gave me a home that was my own, a safe place to try, fail, try again and become. It sewed the seeds of my future, set my feet on the path and gave me the tools to cultivate the life I choose to lead.

I knew when I stepped on campus as a high school senior that I had found my home. Campus was so green and everything was in bloom, someone was getting yelled at for wearing a Stanford sweatshirt and Chip Kelley was a god.

Everyone was proud to be a Duck, and I knew that I had to be part of that community. The community that throws kiddy pools on the front lawn right when the sun comes out even if it’s 50 degrees; the community that doesn’t break when one game doesn’t go our way; the one that sings, “I love my Ducks”, at any and every possible moment; the one that isn’t afraid to protest inside Johnson Hall to stick it to the administration.

While administration changes faster than our football team changes their jerseys, the one constant is that we have a strong, solid student body. It’s the students who make the choice to go here and stay here that matter.

I’ll miss walking over the bridge and through the woods to get to Autzen — easily the most exciting place on the planet to see a football game.

It’s especially thanks to our friends that these past four years have been so incredible. The ones who brought us food and coffee when we had a midterm the next day. The day trips to Portland. The ones who shared our shame when we ate at Caspian way too many times in one week.

When we pull away from the curb after graduation, we’ll be leaving our home. The home we created and made our own — we’ll be leaving our hearts in Oregon.

It’s a sad reality, but these past four years have been filled with too much love, laughter and cheap champagne to dwell on the disappointment that it’s over.

Here’s to the class of 2015. The all-nighters and naps taken in the library, too much Allann Bros. consumed, knowing all of the words to “Sweet Caroline,” the stock we should own in Uly’s, losing our voices in Autzen… I won’t miss UOwireless though. Someone really needs to get on making that better.

The Ducks, we’re your favorite team’s favorite team.




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Bayley Sandy

Bayley Sandy

Bayley is the Emerald's opinion editor. Her passion for opinion writing began when she won the "Why I am Proud to be an American" essay contest in the 8th grade. She is also a self-proclaimed Joe Biden enthusiast.