Ending the chapter but not the story

Over the last two, three, four, five or six years, we’ve all gone from confused, excited, nervous students to confused, excited, nervous graduates. I have found people to love, and they love me back. I have worked hard be here today, and you did, too.
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Into the wild blue yonder

There was a tree I spent hours sitting under freshman year. I used to sit at the base of its trunk and stare up at its branches, and through those branches to the wild blue sky above. The future seemed infinite in those moments, with my body nestled against the trunk of the tree and my life branching out before me, reaching toward the sun in uncountable directions.
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Finding the real world outside class

Everyone throws around this idea that when you graduate from college, you enter the “real world.” It reinforces the idea that college is a time for training — that it is insular and protected, and that what you do here doesn’t matter right now. And to some extent, that’s true.
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When we were bears at Berkeley

I had great plans for this column. I planned to call it “The After (College) Life,” quite cleverly riffing on the idea of future and, well, death. But the more I tried to contemplate my future, to look ahead and see myself employed and owning a television (with cable), the more I found myself glancing back over my shoulder to try to catch a glimpse of the bleak exterior of Evans Hall and the tall, wonderfully phallic Campanile.
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A late bloomer in every way

The most consistent thing about my habits is that I am always late. I have trouble internalizing that time moves in only one direction and that the future will ask for me whether I am ready for it or not. I am a late bloomer in every way.
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Working together for a goal

You will never know how truly small yet essential you are until you are standing next to the massive Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza — to witness the creation of a civilization’s legacy and to feel a sense of responsibility to your own people in helping to create the next wonder of the world, or simply to leave your story behind.
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Seeking the voices of the past

Last year while studying abroad, I met an elderly man in Amsterdam named Rolf. He and his wife, who have both since died, were Holocaust survivors. I mentioned to him that I was staying near the apartment where Anne Frank had been hidden.
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