Farewells are never easy

Latavya Chintada, Staff Writer

Yesterday, I woke up with a sense of dread brewing in the pit of my stomach. As a senior, graduation is an exciting prospect—finally being free from the shackles of academia, celebrating with friends and family and having a sense of new beginnings. I still feel thrilled to be graduating in just a couple of weeks, but the full force of how soon I’ll be moving onto the next chapter of my life hit me like a semi-truck. I would have to say goodbye to the home I’ve made in Cleveland for the last four years, friends who I feel like I’ve known forever, and the organizations I’ve poured my heart and soul into, such as The Observer. 

My journey with The Observer started December 2020, amidst the ongoing pandemic and the various social protests occurring around the world. Freshman year, I didn’t even realize that The Observer existed, as I was still getting accustomed to the university and all it had to offer. However, after the pandemic sent everyone home, I, like many others, felt isolated from the campus community and sought a way to be connected with my peers. During this time, I started to pick up hobbies that have been long neglected. This included picking up books (that were not class textbooks or assigned readings!), playing my violin, and most importantly, getting back into writing creatively. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, and I distinctly remember 10-year-old me trying (and failing) to write a novel. Because of the large number of ongoing social movements at the time, I also felt impassioned to raise awareness and share my own thoughts about key issues such as environmental disasters, mental health and U.S. healthcare. That’s when I found The Observer, a place for me to share my voice in the Opinion section with the freedom and flexibility to talk about any issue that was on my mind. 

It’s connected me to many different writers on campus, who all share the same passion for media and writing. Joining during a remote learning period meant that I wasn’t able to see the board or the columnists in person but rather over Zoom calls, and for a long time, I forgot we even printed physical copies of our issues. That being said, it was almost like I was joining the organization for the first time when we started to shift to an in-person environment. I learned about the print process, connected more with the board and even snatched a couple of physical issues (so that I could cut out my articles for memorabilia, of course). 

Writing for The Observer rekindled my passion for writing in general, and even though at times I pushed off writing articles to catch up on essays for my classes, I do think that it strengthened my literary voice, and I think the articles I wrote are a testament to that growth. Saying goodbye is never easy, but that just means what we are saying goodbye to is that much important. I am glad that I got to spend three-fourths of my time here at Case Western Reserve University writing for The Observer, and doing so alongside many talented friends and peers. While it feels like one chapter is closing, I now look forward to starting a new chapter where I can continue writing and making new connections with the environment around me. But that doesn’t mean the past is forgotten. I’ll look back at my cutout Observer issues and reminisce about the wonderful times I’ve had here, and I know that there was no better way to spend the rest of my senior year.