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Wow. I can hardly believe that I am actually leaving this place in less than 48 hours. As I gather my belongings and pack them away, I cannot help but grow a bit sadder. It’s funny that I have only been in this place for two months, less than any other place I could call home, and I still am having trouble letting go. I suppose that shows how great this summer has been.
Today alone, I had to say goodbye to many wonderful people that have made my experience in Seattle nothing short of amazing. Brian and I presented our projects to our high school interns, and it did not hit me that I would probably not see them again for a long time, if ever, until I finally hugged each of them goodbye. Oddly, we only saw them twice a week, but it will feel really strange not having them in every Tuesday and Thursday.
Later on, we were forced to say goodbye to our mentors and the many Duke alumni who live in the greater Seattle area. It felt completely normal at first, just talking to the people I had met a couple months earlier when we first arrived in Seattle. In a lot of ways, it was like seeing an old friend and catching up on each other’s lives. People remembered me by name, and we often carried on conversations we began at the last alumni session. Plus, I met several new people who I had barely spoken to at the first mixer. My mentor, Mike, was actually able to make it as well, and it was really great to see him and catch up with him. Mike had been very helpful in my time here, and it was such a shame that I barely had the chance to spend time with him and develop a stronger relationship in my time in Seattle.
And just like that, the night ended, and I began to say goodbye to many people I very well may not see again, at least for another few years. Shaking Mike’s hand as we parted ways felt so difficult, and at that point, it truly hit that my time here was ending. All of the wonderful experiences I have had here in Seattle are beginning to be all I will have left of this city until I come back again. Tomorrow will be the toughest day of all, saying goodbye to my community partners and the office that served as my second home for much of this trip. In all honesty, I’m not sure how I will take tomorrow. It will very well be the saddest day I have had here.
Right now, I’m sitting among many of my belongings as I try and pack them away for the long flight home. I will only be home for four days, so I probably won’t unpack very much. My time at home will be too short, I can already tell.
Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly excited about this next year at Duke and the future in general. But, sometimes I wish I could pause time and enjoy the moment for just a little bit longer. I guess we can’t always get what we want.
Here’s a big thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. I cannot believe how lucky I have been to attend Duke and to have this amazing opportunity. And here’s to tomorrow, for the last day of, what the Washington Bus calls us, DukeEnrage.