COLUMN: A bittersweet farewell
As I wrote this column April 16, I noticed so many of my friends and colleagues working on the final paper of the year for Central Michigan Life. They were editing, writing, talking, laughing and all the other things in between.
They’ve been there for me for years, and we’ve shared so many great memories together. I felt a lump in my throat and my eyes feel sorrowful -- like they’re ready to cry. I only have a few school days left, then I’m an adult who doesn’t have to worry about grades and exams.
I’m so scared and excited of what the future holds, and this past month has felt like a grieving period for my life at CMU. I’m so thankful for all of the people that have made these last four years manageable enough to get through. The COVID-19 pandemic happened during my second semester of college, and I can only be thankful to friends, family and everyone who gave me experiences I’ll truly never forget during such an unfortunate part of history.
While I can’t mention everyone by name here, your contribution – small or large – will forever live with me. Thank you.
I want to thank my family for putting up with me. I’ve struggled with so many things through these four years, whether it be depression, anxiety or getting COVID-19 twice. I want to thank my dad for being my best friend throughout my life. You and I harbor the same chaotic and hilarious energy, and when we’re in the same room we only bring laughter to others. We jab at each other and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I can’t imagine what my life would be without my Ma’s love and motherly worries. You kept everyone in the family safe during the pandemic and gave me the best hugs during my hardest moments. Thank you so much and I love both of you so deeply.
My siblings, no matter the distance, were always there for me to give me a laugh and something new to experience. Every one of them – Gabe, Ella and Grace – are so smart and a fantastic person. You all have such different and unique personalities, yet despite the differences we manage to come together and have some of my favorite life moments.
Gabe, you may be in Japan, but our bond is as strong as ever. I constantly think about and cherish the six-hour conversations we have on Discord. Ella, you never fail to surprise me with your intellect and skills as an artist. When I come back home on weekends, I always look forward to hanging out with you. Grace, you’re 10-years-old and you know more about space than me, the guy who’s taken two astronomy classes. You’re simply brilliant and hilarious and I love you so much.
I think about the people I met on campus and online. To Max Logan, my podcast host, roommate and best friend, you made life on and off campus so amazing. You share the same love and passion for video games and sometimes I think it’s even greater than mine. Your stoic nature and witty humor kept me company these four years, and I’d say if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have during my time at CMU. We started the RSO, Action Replay, and it will live on as we leave. Hell, we revived a CM Life podcast!
We may be parting ways soon, but I know I’ve made a lifelong friend.
To Regan Foster, the work mom who makes it all the more sad to leave. You may have only been the adviser of CM Life for one year, but you’ve made me love working here. I’ve never seen anyone so excited to help someone else achieve their dreams, besides my own parents. Yet, you made my dream of making video game reviews a reality. You read my weird projects and listened to my rants about video game history and passion. You are one of the most patient, caring and kind people I’ve ever met, and I’m so damn sad that you came here during my last year.
I hope everyone can feel my sadness because as I wrote this column, I really did start crying — and that's OK. I've cried, laughed and screamed during my time at CMU and I never plan to stop showing my emotions. I've always had a sensitive side to myself, and I've come to learn from my friendships that it's okay to show my humanity.
It’s so bittersweet to leave you all, as I’ve made a life with you. But the time has come for this class to leave.
It’s a new chapter for the class of 2023 and for CMU. To all that are still here, keep being great and keep reinventing the campus.
To the class of 2023, continue on to the rest of the world. Your life is your own.
Michael Gonzalez is the outgoing CM Life podcast editor and a member of the class of 2023.