To Denison, From An Almost-Grad

Graduating senior McKenna Sokol ’16 shares a love letter to Denison.
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As McKenna Sokol ’16, a psychology major and a Spanish minor from Westerville, Ohio, nears commencement, she reflects with gratitude on her time at Denison. This piece originally was published on Odyssey.

Dear Denison,

Thank you for the last four years. Thank you for the multitude of good memories, bad memories, opportunities to grow, the friends, the knowledge I’ve gained, the list goes on. There are so many, in fact, that I physically could not sit and name all of the things I’m thankful for, so instead I’ll name a few of the things I’m most thankful for.

Thank you for the most beautiful campus I could ever have imagined. There are not enough words to explain the feeling of arriving on campus in the fall, heart so full of excitement to see everyone after a long summer, with the campus so green and full of life welcoming you back.

When the trees start to change to golds and yellows, and the leaves slowly start to fall, and then the snow starts to blanket the quads, you stop sometimes and remind yourself just how lucky you are to be here. And then finally, just when the year of academics is starting to wear you down, the pink and white flowers begin to bud on the trees, telling you it will all be all right. I will miss this place and all of its beauty so very much.

Thank you for the most dedicated, kind and incredibly smart professors. When I left high school, I knew I liked learning just fine, but I didn’t think it was fun – I didn’t know that school could be fun once you finished with scheduled naps and time for coloring in kindergarten. But once I got here, I realized that when you find your passion, it’s the most rewarding and exciting experience in the world.

On that note, thank you for fostering an environment where it’s normal to talk your friends’ ears off about your exciting classes. There have been a countless number of times in which I blabbed about neurotransmitters and psychopharmacology to my English major friends who have never taken a psychology class in their life, and it was awesome. Nowhere else would I have been even able to pay anyone to listen to me drone on about that stuff.

Thank you for the Snagels. The Bandersnatch has been such a great piece of my time here, especially since sometimes the food in the dining hall was composed of things like “quinoa loaf” and “artichoke casserole.”

Thank you for the cutest town to “go down into” when we have some free time. Between Gouma’s, Snapshots, Elm’s Pizza, Dragon Village, Day y Noche, Mai Chau, Brews, Village Coffee, River Road Coffee, Broadway Pub, Aladdin’s, and of course, Whit’s, there’s always somewhere unique and delicious to eat when we got sick of the aforementioned “quinoa loaf.”

Taking a walk into town when the times got tough just to grab some soft serve seems so simple, but those walks have created some of the best memories from my time here.

Finally, and most importantly, thank you for the friendship – for bringing people from all over the world into our little bubble and allowing us to grow the most beautiful friendships. I had no idea it was possible to like people as much as I do here, and the thought of leaving this hill and not being a five-minute walk from them anymore is gut-wrenching. However, I have no doubt in my mind that I have found friends for life here; I have no doubt that our relationships will continue to thrive even if we are worlds apart.

Thank you for the best four years of my life so far. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Yours forever,

An Almost-Grad

June 12, 2016