At heart, I’m a words girl, a storyteller to my core.
But ask me to put my time here at the University of Miami into sentences and I’m rendered mute. Mostly because it’s hard to reconcile this painful ache in my chest with the longing I feel to leave. But I’m going to try anyway.
So first a thank you – to my parents, who taught me that impossible was just another word; to my professors, who went from being lecturers to mentors and confidants; and to my classmates, who pushed me to achieve greater heights at every turn.
Without each and every one of you, I would still be the mousy little girl from freshman year, wandering aimlessly around campus, hopelessly lost, literally and metaphorically. I am now confident in my future, my skills and my ability to lead because all of you handed me one piece of the puzzle of discovering who I am.
But in the end, I owe the most to my colleagues at The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper at UM, where I have worked since my freshman year. In fact, calling them colleagues does an injustice to who they really are – a second family. It is not an exaggeration when I say that when we graduate and go our separate ways, it will break my heart.
Together, we have worked, traveled and partied; laughed, argued and cried. We have built a friendship so strong that I can call them when my car is infested with ants or when I need someone to talk to in the middle of the night.
And above all else, what continuously catches me off-guard is how incredibly proud I am of all the juniors and sophomores and freshmen we will be leaving behind at The Miami Hurricane. As a mentor and leader, there is always a shrill voice in the back of your mind, demanding to know whether you are doing right by the people who have been entrusted to you.
At the end of four years, I can safely answer back and say “yes.” We have groomed campus leaders and innovators who will go on to illustrious professional careers and take their industries by storm. I cannot take credit for the inherent talents of the staff of The Miami Hurricane – which are prolific and varied – but what I can say is that I have helped them become just a little better at what they do. That’s more than enough to make me blissfully happy and more than a bit relieved.
So goodbye and farewell, University of Miami. Thank you for the lessons and the failures, the experiences and the opportunities.
I’m finally ready to tackle the world.
Alysha Khan is a senior majoring in journalism and political science. She will be pursuing a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in the fall.