Congratulations! You have graduated from Mariposa 2 and finished your first year in college with such grace and I couldn’t be more proud. This hall was so special which made leaving so hard. Goodbyes are often painful but this is not the end of us.
It was very difficult for me to watch you all go, one-by-one, and though I didn’t shed even one tear at my own college graduation, this graduation made me cry for 72 consecutive hours. These tears were not because I won’t see you again; I know confidently that I will. Crying was my love language to you— a way of communicating that I love you and that you are very important to me and that whatever pain, longing, love and other emotion you were feeling at that very moment was reciprocated. So thank you for hugging me on your way out. It was the closure I really needed.
I became an RA for selfish reasons. After spending most of last year abroad, I needed a purpose and a reason to be at UCI again this year, something that tied me to this campus. You were my purpose — but you were also so much more than that.
You were my home.
You gave me your trust, your love, your vulnerabilities. You let me be there for you, you let me listen to you, and you let me be a part of your life. I will never forget the first time you came into my room to tell me that you aced your college midterm. I will never forget the times you ranted to me about your new crush. I will never forget when we sat in the hallway during the night and sang “Castle on the Hill.” I will never forget Jarod’s nasty crocs, John’s slipper rotations, Daisy’s voice, Jessica’s laugh, May Ann’s talent, Mayte’s strength, and Saswat’s lack of real pants or jeans, just to name a few. I will never forget the times you cried in my room and shared your heartbreaks and past pain with me. I will never forget your strength, your resilience, and how much you inspire me.
I will never forget you — so please don’t forget each other.
You are all so kind, so inviting, and so eager to learn and it’s been incredible witnessing your growth, first-hand. Thank you for being my residents and thank you for all that you have given me. Being your RA was my privilege and I am so thankful to be able to walk a part of your life with you, even if it was only for a short while.
Continue to conquer and remember that you are all capable of anything and everything. Remember to stay kind, to think from the perspective of others. Remember that emotion is not a weakness, but your greatest strength and the determinant of your humility. Remember that logic and emotion need to work together and that you are not just one or the other. Remember to take space when you need it but to give space to others who need it more. Remember to always serve others and be an ally to all communities around you whose struggles you may not identify with. Remember that diversity is all around you and humans are all around you. Remember each other, remember Mariposa 2. Spread the love you felt this year in our hall and carry its spirit with you wherever you go, because you will always be on my mind and you will always have my love.
You were my whole world, Mariposa 2 — and you will always be my most precious memory and my home.
Goodbye for now.