Garrison Keillor once said that Midwesterners always say goodbye three times. That’s only true because goodbye can be difficult to say.
For me, this is it. The Michigan Daily yesterday gave me one final assignment, one last opportunity to see my byline in print, one final column. Say goodbye to college in 20 column inches. And I now find myself spinning my phone trying to sum up four years of friendships, memories and fun.
I’m not convinced college is the best years of your life. I hate to think that the best years of my life are over with. But I think that college does provide four pretty cool and memorable years at a time when that’s needed. And for these experiences I can’t think of a better place than the University of Michigan.
My college experience started in 6005 Hinsdale, and will officially end in 12 days. Somewhere along the line, somebody decided to give me a weekly column. There were times that I made him proud and other times when I made him want to fire me. For the former, I always tried to make sports entertaining. For the latter, I’m sorry.
So here I am, somberly trying to postpone college for just a little bit longer. Trying to relive my four years through one last party. Funny how you can’t wait for school to end, and then it does and you wish you could have one more year of it.
One thing that covering sports at the Daily gave me was an appreciation for just how cool Michigan really is. While living in the bubble that campuses often become, it’s easy to lose appreciation for what life is like at other schools.
It’s easy to forget just how cool Michigan really is until you leave Ann Arbor. While in Washington D.C. this past summer, a stranger commented on my Michigan basketball shorts. Jealous, my friend from another school commented that his school won the national title in basketball just a few years back.
The stranger didn’t recognize my friend’s school.
Sometimes, people forget just how cool Michigan is.
They forget that Ann Arbor during the spring and summer is beautiful, with new ideas and cultural activities always available.
I’ll miss Michigan.
It’s easy to remember the underachieving seasons in football and basketball, but these seasons were only underachieving because of the standards that Michigan commands.
And while there were a number of underachieving seasons, there were also a number of inspirational moments that shouldn’t be forgotten: Michigan holding on to beat Notre Dame in the season opener in the fall of 1999, the 2000 Orange Bowl win over Alabama and the basketball team’s overtime victory over Purdue in the 1999 Big Ten Tournament.
More than these big wins, I remember the little things about Michigan athletics, things that probably weren’t that important, but seemed really important at the time.
Bobby Scales crying after Michigan’s baseball team was eliminated in the NCAA Tournament.
Twenty-five years worth of former players coming to the Big Ten cross country tournament to watch coach Ron Warhurst win the Big Ten title.
The excitement in Chris Young’s voice after it was announced that Tommy Amaker was the new basketball coach.
It’s hard to believe that in 12 days, I’ll be an alumnus recalling these memories, nothing different from any of the other millions of alumni out there reliving the big wins in their college career.
But after four years of classes, sporting events and learning, Michigan and the Daily are teaching me one final lesson – how to say goodbye.
This is Raphael Goodstein’s final column for The Michigan Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com.