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Fully In Tact: The last word - no, seriously

Sabrina Noble
By Sabrina Noble
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
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Now I know that I've said "no, seriously" before and then proceeded to indulge in sarcastic hyperbole, but this time I mean it. This time, there will be no more columns for me, and no more UA. Yes, at last it's time for me to move on - and I've got the cardboard boxes, plane tickets and cap and gown to prove it.

And just as I'm going to throw all the clothes I can't possibly pack into a Salvation Army bin, I'm about to nostalgically toss a little bit of sentimentalism and a few obligatory words of wisdom your way. Feel free to sort through them; maybe you'll find something you like, or could use, or could pass off to a friend or relative as a lazy birthday present you'll pretend you bought new.

I'm going to miss this place. Yeah, I know it's a desert, but that's a good thing. When I visited before applying, I was awed by the expanse of scrubland, the mountains and the palm trees; my desire to come here was instant and intense, and I've never regretted it. The weather during the summer is oppressive, but the winters are like nowhere else. As for the thunderstorms, I've loved those especially. For those who, like me, wouldn't mind viewing lightning as a full-time job, there are few places better. I am going to miss this place. While I don't regret not staying here forever, Tucson's been a good home to me for a while.

The campus has been a good home, too; as a dorm rat (a resident and then an RA) for all four years, I've gotten to know it pretty well - maybe a little too well. Sure, it could use some improvement and renovation here and there, but it's nice in its familiarity. Once I got used to the sheer multitude of warm bodies navigating even warmer concrete (and learned that the occasional citywide flood is something to be enchanted by), life was good. This university offers us whatever quality of education we're willing to work for. Maybe we have to pay more and more for it, and our first letter from the university after we graduate is an invitation to donate more money before our loans are paid off and we tear it up and fume over their audacity for a little while - but hey, why complain?

With commencement only a day away, I find it hard to complain about anything anymore (or at least for a few weeks). After all, I've met friends here whom I hope to keep for a lifetime (especially a certain cartoonist). The story's similar for nearly everyone I know, and I'm amazed by what can happen both within and around a person in four short years (because yes, they've felt short).

Trust me: I've spent enough time around freshmen to know that we really do a lot of growing up here. Even though a diploma may not quite reassure us we're able adults, we've come a long way since Freshman Convocation (which I admittedly didn't attend). If I've had to generate and defend opinions to get through this column, I've had to reach quite a few more to get through college. I had to make a lot of decisions about who I was and who I wanted to be, and how to get from one to the other. We're all making these decisions constantly as we find our way from the beginning to the end.

And this is good, since when you reach the end, you find you've instead just reached a whole other beginning. But this time it's not like graduating high school; you aren't starting over. This time your boxes contain more than bedding and ramen. Now you've got a better sense of yourself, qualifications to get a "real" job, (hopefully) a plan, and - as cheesy as it sounds - raw knowledge.

As soon as I graduate, I'll find that even this is not enough, but I'll have a respectable foundation to build upon, and that's more than I had four years ago.

I have few regrets. Maybe I should've started work at the paper earlier so I could have gotten a cooler position before they got rid of me. Maybe I should have lived off campus with friends this year. I definitely should have gone through with building that lightning rod on top of Manzanita-Mohave, though.

But what's the point in dwelling on this? I have so much already.

Sabrina Noble is a senior majoring in English and creative writing for one more fond day. She can be reached at

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