I have often dwelled on what my last column for The Sun would entail. Often, before falling asleep, I have constructed entire columns in my head. It’s a shame I did not write them down and gave into sleep instead. Because here I am, with so much to say and without a clue about where to begin. I guess this final edition of Abstruse Musings will be a brutally heartfelt and untempered reflection. To begin, I am so thankful that The Sun exists in the first place. I have often heard people in my various social circles resent The Sun and point out its flaws. Granted, The Sun can improve; it can do more, or do less. But it has endured, and remains relatively independent and student-run, which makes it unique. It is the product of sleepless nights and unconditional dedication of a new board of people every year. They are great with words, but can never explain to you why they lose so much sweat and sleep every single day of the week for The Sun. So, here’s a fellow Sunnie thanking the people who have been toiling away at The Sun’s office for months upholding a remarkable Cornell tradition.
This column has experienced everything — I refer to it as an open journal at times. There have been at least 10 articles on how much I love Cornell. I am not even joking when I say that I wrote my first Cornell nostalgia column during my freshman year. One can only imagine how well I am internalizing the countdown to graduation. There were successive columns on Trump, rants against career fair when I was running up against various walls, reflections as I got involved with social justice circles on campus, mortally depressing breakup columns and delightful discoveries that I make even today as an international student in America. To say the least, it has been a good run with this open journal that somehow always resonated with someone. The most rewarding facet of writing this column has been receiving emails from alumni, parents, friends and classmates from my Freshman Writing Seminar about how they shared my experience. It is humbling and reassuring that our experiences are not isolated and unique after all. My last column was for my father. This final one is for some incredible people who have changed my life forever.
I guess I can start with my best friends, Nick and James. Thank you for challenging me to redefine what I think my best can be and for really making my college experience unpredictable and full of adventure, to say the least. Thank you, Naomi, for being a source of sunshine not only for me, but so many people across the years at Cornell. Thank you, Deeya, for always reminding me how wonderful home is throughout these tumultuous years. Thank you to the exceptional faculty of Cornell who have encouraged me and shaped my aspirations in so many ways. If I had to give one advice to incoming freshmen or sophomores still looking for inspiration, I would say do not underestimate the hackneyed classroom. If you ask at Cornell, you will receive more than you asked for. Last year, a graduating senior advised me to make the most of my classroom experience, and it was the best advice I have ever received. Thank you to the Intergroup Dialogue Project for introducing me to new possibilities for personal growth, and for challenging me till the last week of my last semester. Thank you to Libe Cafe for being the nexus of my life at Cornell. Thank you to the Slope for comforting me on nights when I was homesick. Thank you to all of my roommates who have kept up with my wild stories and experiences. Thank you EARS for helping me hold it together during the very last months. Thank you, Ithaca, for being a rebel, be it with the weather or your quirky community. Thank you for countless breathtaking sunsets, runs around Beebe Lake (when I still had motivation) and for the memories no one can touch. Thank you to the Clock Tower for watching over us little people while we toiled, failed, complained, gave up and at some point, picked ourselves up again. Thank you Cornell, for a lifetime. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for trusting Ithaca and letting me go four years back. Thank you Cornell, for letting us go now. And finally, thank you to the Class of 2016, for raising the bar, and for inspiring me in so many ways.
As I wrap up this column, the closing line of the Vagina Monologues comes to my mind. I remember the silence in Bailey Auditorium, the curtain closing as the cast looked at the audience, and said in unison — “Go Ahead… Love.”
Aditi Bhowmick is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstruse Musings appeared alternate Mondays this semester. This is its final installment.