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On leaving

LorettaAbby Walker
00:00 / 02:09

Candy Kitchen, 2023


This Playlist: 

Leaving college signifies so much more than just leaving a place. For many of us, it signals the end of our academic career—the period in our life where learning was our top priority, where we were surrounded by our closest friends nearly every day, and when we could envision, at least to a certain degree, each coming year. It’s a poignant marker of the passage of time and often the beginning of our anxieties about getting older.

But while graduating represents an end to the structure of childhood, it also signifies our transition into the freedom of adulthood—a change that is necessary for our growth. These new responsibilities are simultaneously scary and empowering. We’re leaving something great behind and venturing into the unknown, and it seems that every single one of our choices from here on out hold greater weight in determining how this unknown will turn out. But our ability to choose is freeing, and we gain greater control over what we want our lives to look like.

These seemingly conflicting feelings made the week of graduation possibly one of the most emotionally turbulent weeks of my life. Waves of grief, excitement, fear, pride, gratitude, and nostalgia seemed to crash over me unexpectedly, pulling me into highs to lows in back-to-back moments. I think this collection of songs embodies the complex and diverse emotions that leaving college inspired in me, and I hope it resonates with you as well.

- Libby

Art and nonfiction
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