To My Seniors

To my down quad,
Thanks for being the first. The first to take me under your wing, the first to teach me how to use the microwave, the first to teach me how to break in…my super hard mattress pad. The first to call me “sophomore”, the first to feed me ramen, the first to teach me what it means to be a “nub”. I’m sorry I didn’t spend time with you second semester, I really am. But if I’m grateful for anything, it’s that every time I came back to your door, it was as if nothing had changed. We were never quite similar, and we never really will be. But with all of the change and growth we’re both about to go through, just remember that you were my #1’s, and you always will be.

To my therapist,
My god, now that’s what I call survival. How is it that you manage to say all of the right stuff at the right time? You have school, and you have boy problems, and you’re scared for college too. I know you are. I think that’s what makes you do it, though.You know the feelings associated with this place more than anyone else. Understand what you’ve done for others. For all the pizza you’ve donated to remedy a break up, or the times you played catch with me at 2 am to ease my mind, or the countless hours you just sat there, and listened. Maybe one day I could be as selfless as you.

To the one I can always party with,
You were always a good time buddy, and don’t you ever stop being a good time. I hope you find your own 05 slabs in college where you can blast Chance’s new album, eat Sarps, and watch the sunset. I hope you never have a dull conversation, and you love the ones you’re with. You know what I regret, though? I don’t think I actually know you that well. Yeah we jam, we laugh, and we make good memories. But I wish we would’ve had one deep talk, just one. Ah, nevermind, I’m just being selfish. You made this year a blast. And one thing is for sure, I’m never gonna forget you.

To my big brother and sister,
You’re going to miss me so much. Just admit it. Who else is going to be there to piss you off for the hell of it? Who else is going to be there to bring down your self esteem? Who else knows the things you hate most about this campus, and the things you love? But, more than that, who else is going to respect you the amount that I do? Hey loser, you made this place a home away from home for me. I never really told you I appreciated you, and I figured there’s not much more time to say something. So, here it goes. There won’t be anyone else to tell me to stop screwing around when I have work to do. There won’t be anyone else that says exactly what I need to hear when my grades suck and I’m stressed about college. You were never perfect, and you were never the best role model. But you were the best I could ask for. Have fun in college bud, but not too much fun.

To the one who always waved at me in the halls,
I don’t actually remember how I met you. Maybe we were at the same dinner date once, or maybe we awkwardly sat at the same Sodexo table for 20 minutes. Maybe it’s just because you’re super well known and I’m a scrubby little underclassmen. But you should know that your smiles made my day. And I’m sorry I didn’t get to know you better. I hope you keep the optimism you spread right now, and you should never change.

To my mentor,
I don’t know what I’m going to do without you, seriously. Other people I’ll miss, but you? How do you expect me to function? You led me through everything. My first article, my first module. And now you’re just dropping everything, saying “not my problem anymore” and leaving? How could you? You think that’s fair? And I know it doesn’t matter to you, because you’ve done your job and it’s part of the cycle.

But I think I’m just afraid I won’t grow anymore. It’s like every time I talked to you, I learned something new. I don’t think I’ll ever have a role model like that again. Man, I loved having someone to look up to. But I guess this is you telling me it’s time to look to myself now.

You know I’m thankful, so I’m not going to repeat that a bunch of times. But I will say this: thank you for abandoning me. Thank you for letting me go. I need it, and you know I do. I guess this is where I grow.

And I promise you, with all of my heart, I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever is in my power, to make IMSA a better place. For the rest of us, and for you.

To my table buddy,
Ayy buddy! Here’s to all those lame inside jokes we had about falling asleep in class and looking up who played the baby sun in the Teletubbies. I kinda wished we talked more outside of class, though. It doesn’t seem like there was a dull moment between us, and we bonded so well! Nonetheless, you made that class bearable. More than that, you made one of my most favorite IMSA memories. I hope you bring good times wherever you go.

To my teammate,
I’m just going to apologize now for how underwhelming your senior gifts were. It’s honestly kinda funny. We did those posters in like, 30 minutes. And you were right outside of the door so it wasn’t even a surprise. But hey, you really deserve more than just fingerprints on butcher paper. From the moment I walked on that court sophomore year, you began teaching me. You taught me technique, and you taught me how not to be frozen in fear every time Coach looked at me. We grew together dude, even if we still lost a ton. Take that caring heart and determined mind wherever you go.

To the Superstar,
I remember looking at you sophomore year and just always repeating that infamous phrase: “Man, why can’t I be that well put together?” You are famous across campus: good grades, good positions, goes to the gym regularly. Well, went to the gym regularly. The problem is, I only ever saw you from the outside looking in. My admiration was glorified, and rightfully so, but glorified nonetheless. Typical underclassmen. I regret not knowing any other side of you but the perfect image reflected to the rest of the public. I wish you continual success, and I know you’ll leave a legacy wherever you go. Hopefully your fame in the future doesn’t make you intangible.

To my best friend,
You’ve got it all, kid. You are my mother when I need comforting, my sister when I need a yelling, and my teammate when I need some cheering on. You are that smile in the hallway that can brighten up my day, the words that I need to hear, and the lessons that I need to learn. So many late nights, so much Sarpino’s, and so many dance parties. So many hugs, and so many kisses. I’m so proud of you, dude, you’ve come a long way. From crumbling with 3 hours of sleep a night junior year, to #sss, it’s been ridiculous watching you grow. But you made it, man, and I can’t wait to see where life takes you. Just try not to forget me when you’re out there making millions, okay?

To my seniors,
Know that you’ve left your mark, somehow and somewhere. Trust me, we’ll miss you.
Congratulations, and good luck on everything.

Your Underclassmen

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