I’m Still Here

By: Connor Lenahan

As commencement weekend wraps up tomorrow for Boston University, thus signaling my need to return to the school to work, I am left with the though of change. I have to again leave my house after all to brief a visit to return to the school and the city I love with every fiber of my being. I’d be lying if I said I was upset about this; I’m actively excited to go back to Boston. I love being in the city and on my campus. The negative to this is far less time with the special people back here in Waverly, PA that have made me who I am today. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye to all of my friends and family members once again, but there’s something important I remind myself of: this isn’t the first time I’ve done it. Further, it won’t be the last.

Something that every friend of mine and I know, or will know in some cases, is the difficulty to leave home for a new experience. After spending the entirety of my life in the quiet suburb in which I currently sit I made the gigantic change to move to Boston. Gone are the trees that surround my house, towering over as thin trunked protectors. Instead I am/will soon be surrounded by the firm, concrete structures, made by man, that collectively assemble into Boston University’s campus and the city of Boston as a whole. Other friends of mine regularly leave our calm hometown for the joys given by State College, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Omaha, New York City, Tuscon, and Grenoble, France this fall, just to name a few. While the destinations are not the same a feeling is universally shared by all. This is the sadness of saying goodbye.

I try to avoid that though. Not literally – not even close – as I have never been one to ignore a problem; that’s just my inherent nature. Instead I frame the feeling differently. While some of my closest friends are finishing up their work here at home so they too can venture out into the world I am out exploring. This means I cannot be with them, regardless of how much I want to. Instead of treating it like a goodbye, I simply think it’s a pause. I’ll be gone for a bit, but not forever. I am head over heels in love with my city, but even with that true I always come home. That will never change. As much as I might say it, I will always come back to Waverly. I have to. It’s where Candy Bob and Wegmans are. Plus my family but, come on, priorities.

I’ve watched from afar as some of my closest friends, people I openly refer to as family members, walked across the stage at Agganis Arena to graduate from our shared school this weekend. It’s a reality I and many others must deal with that these guys are not going to be everyday students anymore. That era has passed. But even though they’re not there physically doesn’t mean anything changes. They’re still my family. We’re still friends. The distance grows as does the strength of the bond. That’s how this works. It’s how it always works.

I’m preparing for my last day or so in Waverly for quite a while. I’ve got to give some hugs, see some friends, make some visits, and get some sleep beforehand. Even though I won’t be standing watching some of my closest friends finish high school, even though I won’t be sitting beside my pool listening to Steely Dan for days on end, even though I’ll be gone, I won’t be gone. I’m still here. I always will be.

It’s not a goodbye, it’s a pause. We’ll pick back up as soon as possible. I promise.

Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a sophomore at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at lenahan@bu.edu