The morning was a bit hectic. To start off, I woke up insanely late. So late, in fact, that I had been marked absent for my class and had to clear it up with my R.A.. When I arrived, I was greeted by a flurry of messages and looks from my friends that said "Where have you been? We were worried." I was touched by their concern and realized that I had developed strong friendships with these people over the three weeks I had gotten to know them, even ones I had met a few days ago.
Professor Mesznik closed out the class with advice for the future relating to business and important terms to know about finance, economics, and life in general. Like many others, I shook his hand after class to thank him for teaching us and putting his time and effort into trying to help us learn and be interested.
Originally, my friends and I were all going to get lunch together, but there was a change of plans and we decided to get an early lunch-dinner hybrid instead. Tiara, my regular lunch buddy, ate lunch with me in the cafeteria – my last meal in the cafeteria. This, however, was not before we experienced the crazy deliciousness of a gourmet Red Velvet cake flavored popsicle that, surprisingly, didn’t taste artificial at all.
At the beginning of the afternoon class, we discussed the last articles we had chosen and reviewed some of the mathematical material we had covered in the past few days that Ms. Santos hadn’t had a chance to go over in quite as much depth as she had wanted to. We ended the class with a hilariously off-kilter game of “Financial Jeopardy!” It was an interesting end to an interesting class, definitely not an emotional one, but an interesting one all the same.
Immediately after, I went to go eat a “dunch” or “linner” at Shake Shack with Tiara, Jason, and Brian. Although I felt bad that our laughter and conversation was incredibly loud, I didn’t regret one second. Our hangout felt way past overdue and I couldn’t help but think I had missed out on so many opportunities to hang out with all these amazing people. Why, oh why, did I have to get so much closer to these people during the last week? Tiara decided to head back to
Columbia and Jason had somewhere to be, so Brian and I walked to
the Met to go meet up with the rest of the cohort. I also got to see the stunning
“Through the Looking Glass” exhibit I had missed the first time I had visited
the Met and went up to the equally stunning rooftop garden that overlooked the
rest of the city. It only
took a short while before Brian got comfortable with the group and was chumming
around with everyone else. The evening was beautiful, the night air was cool,
and the fireflies were out. And so we did the only the sensible thing we could
do; we went on the swings.
With all of us feeling a little thirsty and a little hungry, we got some boba from a small local shop called TeaMagic and shared a few more laughs. Before he left, we awarded Brian honorary Columbia cohort member status and saluted him off before heading back to the campus. It seemed as though the night couldn't get any more perfect; I mean, swings and the Met and Shake Shack and friends and boba? How could we possibly end such an incredible night properly? Well, we ended it on the ledge from the very first night, and just sat there for a while, feeling nostalgic and talking about nothing in particular. Sometimes, the simple things are the best.
It hasn’t yet hit me that I won’t see some of these people ever again. And yet I’m so incredibly grateful for the people I did get to meet and the experiences I was able to have with them, and I am excited to see where some of these newfound friendships will lead. My goodbyes to my friends were not sentimental and mushy. Rather, they were the mere and bittersweet acknowledgment of the fact that I wouldn’t see them physically for a very long time or perhaps ever. I wouldn’t wholeheartedly say that it’s not goodbye, because I feel as though on a certain level it was. There’s something about the physical presence of a human being that can’t be substituted for technology in a friendship. But, it’s also not a question of whether or not I’ll be able to talk to them, because I will. So, with a hopeful heart, I continue on, treasuring the moments I was given, sharing them with others, and looking forward to making new ones.