Column: Goodbyes

FULL-columnThere’s a scene in The Sound of Music (I know I’ve just lost half of my readership already) where all the von Trapp kids sing this long, drawn-out song before they go to bed—you know, the one about “so long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu because Nazis are trying to kill us, etc.”?

It’s a pretty silly song, really. At one point the von Trapps’ houseguests even start singing along. But I guess if you can believe Julie Andrews as a nun—she wears a habit about as well as Donald Trump wears a toupee—you’ll probably love it.

Unfortunately, my life is not a musical and therefore I can’t take away anything from the von Trapp kiddos about how to tell the guests at my party—namely my friends at school—goodbye when I graduate in 13 days.

Everyone has a different way of dealing with goodbyes. Take women, for instance. Most of them can’t even bear to part with each other for five minutes. That’s why they always gather up a team to go with them when they use the facilities.

And if they are forced to part with each other, it can get ugly. There’s often crying, yes, but usually that’s the best-case scenario.

Other times, the process is so drawn out that the goodbye lasts for days, even weeks. First, they say goodbye in person. Then they call each other to say goodbye. Shortly thereafter, a goodbye text is sent and over the next few days, a flurry of goodbye Facebook posts is sure to follow.

For guys, the entire goodbye ordeal is much easier. Sometimes we even forget to say it, and usually neither party is offended. But if the stars align and two guys do in fact remember to say goodbye, it’s short and uncomplicated. There will be a handshake, maybe a fist bump, and if it’s an especially important goodbye, perhaps a bro-hug will even be in order.

Regardless of how I ultimately decide to say goodbye to my friends, saying goodbye to BJU won’t necessarily be easy, either.

I’ll miss working on The Collegian, of course. In my five semesters on staff, I wrote 57 articles, interviewed more than 75 people, edited around 130 articles and spent way too much time looking up all of that information. And I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

I’ll miss my nightly routine of seeing how many hops it takes me before I gain enough momentum to jump into my bed on the middle of the triple bunk. (Seriously though, it’s not easy; am I right, fellow middle-of-the-bunk people?)

I’ll miss the surprise that comes with seeing that Grab ’n Go has changed its format yet again. (I think during my three-and-a-half years at school, it’s gone through at least 20 different incarnations.)

I’ll miss being entertained by the hoards of people running to get to the dining common on Sunday afternoons. (Do you guys realize what you look like when you do that?)

But it all comes back to people. I’ll miss every person—friend, faculty or staff—who has impacted my life these past few years. I’ll try to avoid texting them, tweeting them and especially singing “So Long, Farewell” when it comes time to say goodbye.

Maybe there is no best way to say goodbye, in the end. Maybe it’s better not to say goodbye at all. I really don’t know.

But I’ve found that when I don’t have the right answer, good ol’ Charlie Brown always offers solid advice. So I’ll leave you with his words: “Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”