Monday, September 20, 2021

Saying goodbye to the one you admire most

My cousin Kiersten and I have always been extremely close. We grew up in a huge, Irish family, but we’ve always stayed tight. One day, years ago, we were playing Taboo, the game where you have to explain as many words on a card to your partner in a minute without saying the actual words, with some other cousins. Obviously, Kiersten was my partner, and we won by a landslide. We could say one word and immediately know what the other was thinking.

She’s my best friend, and her being a student at Plattsburgh State is a huge reason why I made the decision to go here. She’s always there for me, whether it’s to party at her apartment on the weekends or just hang out and watch “Bob’s Burgers” or “Loiter Squad” together.

This spring, something horrible is happening, though: Kiersten is graduating.

I only know Plattsburgh with her in it, and when she leaves in May, a lot is going to change. Most importantly, she won’t be living 10 minutes away from me anymore.

As I become more aware of Kiersten’s pending doom — I mean, graduation — I realize how quickly time is moving. It feels like yesterday I was a junior in high school visiting Plattsburgh and quickly realizing it was the place for me. During that visit, Kiersten brought me to my first crush party, where we went to Peabody’s, got drunk and went to Bono’s for a slice. It’s still one of my favorite Plattsburgh memories because it was with Kiersten.

It feels fitting to write about her impact on me because if it weren’t for her, I really wouldn’t be here. I had never even heard of Plattsburgh State before Kiersten started going here. Her and her friends graduating will be the end of an era.

All I can think about is how this means we have to start thinking about jobs, payments and doing things our parents have to do.

Just the other day, Kiersten and her roommates were talking about doing their taxes, and I thought, “Damn, when do I have to start doing stuff like taxes and bills?” Then I realized it’s way sooner than I thought. I’m living in my own apartment in the fall with four other girls, and we’ll have to do all these new, unknown tasks.

Big things are happening and people are starting to take their first steps into the world outside college. I’m already almost halfway through with college, and I can feel the shadow of responsibility closing in on me. We’ve reached the time in our lives when we have to start thinking about the rest of our lives and how we want to live them, too.

Now that I’m an editor of Cardinal Points, people are telling me how great it will look on my resume and how it’ll help me get a job when I graduate. It’s definitely been a wake-up call that this is the start of my career.

The events happening this semester have shown me that I have to start thinking about the next part of my life. Not the way people used to think of the future though. Now the future isn’t picking a college or major, it’s picking a place to start your career or an apartment or a job.

I’m a sophomore, and it feels like graduation is far away but these next two years are going to fly by like the first two years have. Last semester was my first time writing for Cardinal Points, and now I’m in charge of an entire section. Who knows what’s going to happen next semester?

Kiersten leaving has sparked a realization in me that life is moving forward quicker than I would like to admit. I know that in a blink of an eye, my friends and I will be graduating, and hopefully, a few people will feel lost without us too.

Kiersten is going to do great things after graduating Plattsburgh, and I can’t wait to see where she ends up. I’m going to miss her like crazy all the time, but that’s life, and it’s going to keep moving forward whether we like it or not. And Kiersten better come and visit me at least once a month, or I’ll be bored and lost without her.

Email Laura Schmidt at

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