Dear fellow seniors,

And just like that it’s over. It feels like yesterday we stepped onto LMU’s beautiful campus, doesn’t it?

Author Shel Silverstein once wrote, “There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start.”

For many of us young adults, as we enter the “real world,” this might be applicable. We are at the end of a long, exciting, challenging and hopefully fulfilling chapter in our lives.

As cliché as it is to say — the only thing we can expect to be constant in life is change. Through everything, the good and the bad, the happiness and the pain, we are always growing and evolving just as the world around us is.

Ironically, this fact is the hardest for humans to accept. We are afraid of change and the consequences of what that entails.

If I were to attest to the strengths of humankind, however, I would note that some of the most amazing aspects are our resilience and perseverance. In a world that is becoming increasingly more complex with issues like climate change, gun violence, political divides and more, the most important lesson I have learned through college is the value of being in the present moment.

I grew up in loud, busy cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai, India and Singapore. I came to Los Angeles nervous about the slower pace and often laid-back attitude. I have not only come to greatly appreciate it, but I feel at home here.

In my four years at the Loyolan, it has been a place of refuge and safety. I have met students from all colleges of LMU, people from different backgrounds and with diverse life experiences. As a journalist, this is so valuable.

Being in a work environment where our stories are about the community we are a part of, I have always felt greatly honored to represent the voices on our campus. It has taught me the value of storytelling in bringing to light important issues and often unheard voices.

I came in as a news intern knowing close to nothing about journalism, and was able to mentor and grow our staff this year as managing editor. The lifelong friendships I have made along the way will be memories I will forever cherish.

Reader, I don’t know about you, but LMU has given me some of my most fulfilling moments. It has also made me face some of the biggest challenges and losses of my life head-on.

Ultimately, my college experience has taught me life is incomplete without all of its peaks and valleys — pain, loss, laughter, joy, peace, hope. This senior column might have a word limit, but what we can do with our lives does not.

So, at whatever point you might be in your journey, here’s to your own happy middle and very happy start.

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Kayan Tara is a senior Theatre Arts and English double major from Mumbai, India. In her free time she likes taking naps on the beach, trying new foods and contemplating the vastness of the universe as she drinks way too many cups of tea.

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