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Sparks: A grateful goodbye

Hannah Sparks

I’m terrible at goodbyes. I avoid moments of sentimentality at all costs, and if there’s an opportunity for an Irish goodbye, I’m all for it. This is not because I don’t care about the people or experiences that I’m leaving behind, but because I struggle to process things coming to an end. If I don’t think about it, I can’t be sad, right?
Wrong. In my last few weeks as a Clemson Tiger with about a third of my goodbyes behind me, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to embrace every experience you can — including the goodbyes. Looking back at all the amazing people that I’ve met and all the things I’ve accomplished, it’s not an entirely sad thing to be moving forward with my life; I’m taking these memories with me, because they are me. All my experiences and relationships have changed who I am and helped me to grow into the person I am today. And now, I’m ready to learn even more about myself because I know that my Clemson memories will forever be a part of my life. Rather than saying goodbye, I’m saying thank you. 
More specifically, thank you to all the people at Clemson who have inspired me, supported me and made me laugh. Thank you to my friends for never leaving room for a dull moment. Thank you to my professors and peers for encouraging me to follow my passions and pushing me to achieve my goals. Finally, thank you to everyone at The Tiger who has dedicated their time to creating such a positive, friendly and hard-working environment. The dedication of this staff to providing accurate, engaging and well-written information for the Clemson community is truly inspiring, and I feel incredibly grateful to have worked with such strong-willed and good-hearted writers. 
Although I still hate goodbyes, there’s some sweet camouflaged within the bitter. I still feel incredibly attached to Clemson, but I also know I’m taking this place with me as I begin my next journey. So, in place of an Irish goodbye, I’m taking in every moment, and if there’s a piece of advice I would leave with all you readers, it’s that you do, too.
Hannah Sparks is graduating with a degree in English and was a copy editor for The Tiger.

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