Tomorrow I will sit down in TD Garden, Snapchat my way through John Kerry’s Commencement address, and graduate from Northeastern University as part of the class of 2016. It’s strange to think that my five-year college experience has come to an end. Gone are the days of getting lost in the halls of Lake/Holmes/Meserve, of eating Rebecca’s home fries to the point of stomach rupture, and playing “Gay or European” with my peers on campus (SPOILER ALERT: it’s usually both).

Back in 2011 I would have never guessed I’d end up at Northeastern. I didn’t attend the university as a freshman, and the only reason I became a husky was because Emerson College decided to only give me $45 and an expired bookstore coupon for financial aid. The truth is I just did not understand the five year plan, and I hated the idea of giving up my summers for co-op. I thought I would crumble under the university’s academics, or flail in the competitive environment. Fortunately for me, Northeastern gave me enough financial aid to justify coming here, which is great because I would have rather gone face first into a bear trap than attend my other option- Boston University. And boy, am I glad I chose to be a husky!

What I love most about Northeastern is how different it is. Here you can’t walk more than ten feet without hearing a conversation in a difference language. Classes are full of people who come from every part of the world, diversity of life experiences are abundant, and exploration is encouraged-almost even mandated. You can move across the country or globe for an internship and figure out your passion whilst gaining the work experience needed to actually land a job. Hell, my roommate spent two full years abroad! It can be hard to part with friends as they travel across the world to pursue their dreams- if you end up on a different co-op cycle than your friend you may hardly ever see them. It is incredible though to have the access and opportunity to explore and grow, and the school has given me the desire to travel the world and make a difference. What’s even better is that the school allows you to stay in college for an obscene amount of time without people thinking you’re just pulling a Van Wilder. The school really provides you with the opportunity to explore every possible career opportunity and academic path to determine what route is best for you. Also, shout out to the wonderful professors like Greg Goodale and Shillman Cat!

I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any downsides. The school is incredibly bureaucratic and overpriced, and the president could very well be a lizard person. School spirit is lacking, and Blackboard is less sophisticated than Windows ’98, but with that being said- it is because of the co-op program that I have a full-time job at a company I love. It is because of Northeastern that I have been able to meet some incredibly ambitious and intelligent friends, and for that that I am grateful.

I’m going to miss almost dying in the West Village wind tunnel. I’m going to miss watching my friends dance at the basketball games, and paying far too much for groceries at Wollaston’s. I’m even going to miss glaring at the people eating lunch from my treadmill at Marino. What I’m going to miss most is the incredible people I’ve come to know here- many of whom are going to continue their exploration efforts outside of Boston. My peers at Northeastern are some of the smartest, most passionate people at the planet, and I’m excited to stalk their LinkedIn accounts in the future to assess how far behind I am.

Today I’m moving out of my on campus apartment. At 7 am tomorrow I’ll be arriving at TD Garden, and seeing some friends for what could very well be the last time. I always thought that I’d be dying to escape college after 5 years, but I find myself wanting just a few more weeks…or years.  Things are going to change- for better and for worse. Hopefully this won’t be the peak of our lives, bur rather the beginning of some awesome times.  Anyways, let’s turn up by ending on a Winnie the Pooh quote: