Sasha Yolles – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
Goodbyes are something I don’t think I’ve ever had much trouble with. Take my first day at Brandeis for example. I don't even know if I said goodbye to my parents before running into the wide-open doors, ready to be my bubbly energetic self. But this goodbye is different. This isn’t the type of goodbye you can wave off when you walk away because you’ll be back the next day. It’s the goodbye that will remain in the back of your head for the next few years. It’s the goodbye to the home you’ve lived in for 5 years, and the place you have a second family in. It’s the place where friendships are unbreakable, and the teachers are not just teachers, but your friends too. How do you say goodbye to a place that has comforted you for the last few years of your life?
The thing is you don’t. Unlike many goodbyes, this is the goodbye that I am having trouble with. This is the goodbye to the place I have countless memories in. From dancing in the rain during pe, getting sprayed by rockets, throwing the foam rock at Mr. Seymour, deep chats with Ms. D, off-topic js classes, heated havurah discussions, countless lunch table laughs, laughing till you can’t breathe in math, and the list goes on.
If you ask me if I am ready to leave Brandeis my answer will be yes. I feel so well prepared for the next chapter in my life. But am I mentally ready? I'm ready to say goodbye??
While I am in no way ready to say goodbye, I have some thank you’s. Thank you to my parents who have always been there for me, and give me this amazing opportunity. Thank you to my teachers for supporting me and being one of my favorite parts of Brandeis, and lastly, thank you to my classmate for being like me in the second family, or as my other siblings. I will miss you all. Thank you for the countless shared laughs and fun memories. I wish you the best of luck next year.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a goodbye I'll never be ready for. I’ve realized this is not the easiest goodbye, but I need to be brave like my 4th-grade self. As Winnie the Pooh said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”