I transferred to Geneseo on a whim. Without too much thought, I signed my paperwork, packed my bags and arrived on campus in the middle of a frigid, windy January. Nervous as I may have been with my choice, it did not take me long to realize this would be one impulse decision that would not end in regret.
Quaint and beautiful as this town can be, with the charm of Main Street and the sunsets over the valley, these were not the reasons I found myself growing deeply attached to Geneseo - it was the people I encountered.
I have always valued the community between writers, but the creative writing department here is beyond anything I had previously experienced. The students I took workshop classes with instantly became my confidants. The level of trust and respect required in order to hand another person the bare bones of your writing and allow them to rip it apart is unbelievable and prone to fostering friendships.
I have been fortunate enough to have an unyielding group of editors, mentors and above all, friends, to go through this program together. We have reassured and cheered for one another through our dark moments and successes, ultimately coming out with stronger relationships and portfolios. I am sure more than one of them will make their voices heard for our generation.
I have also been lucky enough to experience how much these faculty members care about their students’, and even former students’, work and success.
Only a few weeks ago, a former professor approached me, encouraging me to submit my writing for publications. This directly led to my upcoming first publication in Gandy Dancer, SUNY’s online literary magazine. To know that these great talents that have already given me so much are still happily here as resources is perhaps the most amazing thing about the creative writing department - small as it may be, the bonds forged within it are permanent.
Beyond academia, the sense of community on this campus is undeniable. I have yet to meet someone who has not found his or her niche in a club or organization.
Through joining Greek life, I found a family away from home. The 50 girls I call my sisters have seen me through every day, celebrating my most trivial successes and supporting me through the days I was sure I could not survive. They are the ones that have rooted me here, have made me call this place my home and will give me a place to return to long after I graduate.
As I stand upon the cusp of my commencement, here is the truth I have found: There is no saying goodbye.
The things I have learned, the people I have met and the opportunities I have created are not fleeting, but the foundation I have built for myself to grow from.
Yes, I am leaving, but I’m taking so much with me that it doesn’t feel that way. Graduating feels less like the end and more like taking the next natural step. This chapter may be over, but I’ve never felt more prepared or excited to begin writing the next.