January 17, 2020

Avatar of Kai Teigen

Semester one is almost over, but like actually this time (sorry about my wildly inaccurate belief that the semester ended three weeks ago, by the way, believe me, I’m as shocked as you), and that means I’m almost done writing for the Jacket. I’m going to miss writing for you. I’ve never been very good at goodbyes, especially about things that I actually enjoy, so I guess that’s what we’ll talk about in this last issue.

I know that some of you don’t get sentimental, but for most of us goodbyes are tough, and I know that personally I’m usually pretty broken up about them, whether it’s something as important as losing my grandfather this last June or something as big as saying goodbye to a friend who I get to see every week. The thing that we all need to remember is that nothing ever ends, not really. I may be done writing this column, but now that I’ve found something I love to do, I’ll always have more opportunities to keep writing about things I see, issues that affect us, or whatever else is on my mind.

Those of us who have had to leave behind family, friends, teams, or clubs know how sad this can be. But we eventually realize that we’re all going to see the people who are important to us again. Even those who have passed away still live on in our memories, in our hearts, and the gatherings of those who loved them. My grandfather was a generous, kind, loving man, and in the 79 years he was on this earth, he spread joy and kindness to everyone he met. He taught my family so much about compassion. He loved to laugh and go on adventures, and I feel that he passed that on to me. We had a celebration of life for my grandfather this weekend, and we all had a lot of fun together honoring his legacy.

That’s the kind of goodbye we all need to remember is possible. Like my grandfather, this column has taught me a great deal. I’ve learned how to write and express myself, how to phrase things conversationally but clearly, and how to search my life for ridiculous moments and learn from the mistakes I’ve made. It’s been such a positive force in my life, it has been an outlet to vent my feelings on random high school stuff, and has served as a general, steady project to work on throughout the semester, and I really hope it’s been helpful, or at least amusing, to a few of you too.

I strongly encourage you all to keep trying to find new things you love to do because, honestly, I wasn’t sure about being a columnist, but now that it’s come to an end, I’m so glad I chose to do it. If everything we ever did happened forever, none of it would feel important, because none of it would feel precious. Saying goodbye makes us grateful for the things we have. And I’m so grateful to all of you for indulging me in my ramblings, for allowing me to write for you, and just for always being someone I could talk to. I hope you guys have a great rest of your year!