By: Mara Nolan
I’d say it took three and a half years for me to realize it, but I have loved IU South Bend with all of my heart, and I don’t think that there was ever any other place that could have served me so well. As the time to say farewell quickly approaches, I find myself looking upon every building, tree, desk, stairwell and person that I encounter on campus with a warm, glowing fondness that grows with every passing day. IU South Bend will remain with me forever as the place that showed me who I am, what I love, and how to indulge in the quiet, sparkling epiphanies, pleasures and moments of joy that life has to offer.
In joining The Preface, I was pushed out of my comfort zone—to not only pursue stories and participate in extracurricular events, but to share my writing with the campus community was not something I had ever dreamed of being confident enough to do. And although I have only written a handful of stories and attended a few events, my short time with this newspaper has opened my heart to pursuing my passions and letting others know who I am and what I am capable of. Because of this paper and the university, I have grown as a writer, a person, a student, a friend and a member of the community.
I want to thank The Preface staff for their loving kindness and the welcoming atmosphere that they create. This experience has been nothing but positive, and I found myself looking forward to the meetings every Friday, because they acted as a source of sunshine to brighten my dreary January, February, March and April days. Each and every person with The Preface is supportive, open, talented and genuine, and tries to the best of their ability to help every individual succeed. I am lucky to know all of you.
I want to thank Ken Klimek, who is talented, positive, welcoming, funny and supportive, and who has given me the opportunity to try something new and the encouragement I need to continue to pursue the things that I love. Throughout my life I hope to meet more people like Ken; he is a solid, kind-hearted, wholesome individual who lifts my spirits with each encounter.
I want to thank all of my professors at IU South Bend; the attention and care with which they approach their students is remarkable, and I don’t think that there is any other school in the world where I could have been so positively impacted by those who taught me. My professors have truly made my experience unforgettable and have ignited and fostered within me a calling to be ever-learning and a thirst for a life that is full.
And finally, I thank my fellow students. Without my classmates, clubmates, coworkers, peers and friends, I would not be who I am today, and my life would be dreary, dull and gray. Thank you all for the laughs, tears, memories and connections that we have made over the last four years.
So thank you all for reading my stories, for accompanying me on my journey, for encouraging me to seize each and every day. Thank you for teaching me, for learning with me and for the loving kindness you have brought into my life. I say farewell, but what I really mean to say is with all my heart, I will never forget you. Peace!