COMMENTARY: Take time to enjoy and thank others

Karl Laves

While the intensity, if not the hubris of March Madness may have been a distraction, you now face a very serious deadline in your life, and no amount of merrymaking will cause it to disappear. I am talking about the end of another school year, which for some also means the end of a college career.

And if American society isn’t bad enough at most pro-social behaviors, we really stink at the sacred exchange of emotions so commonly referred to as saying goodbye.

People come in and out of your life for the duration of your life. Whether painful or pleasant, this will happen time and time again between now and the day you leave this world.

Ready or not, it will come. So I would encourage you to start now — honing your skills at saying goodbye. Make a list of all the people who helped you out while you were here at WKU and commit to the idea of telling them goodbye.

Maybe it is the lady that took your cash or ran your card each day at lunch. Maybe it is the guy that cleaned the lockers, the library or the food court. You might want to say goodbye to the people you know at the ticket counter or the Preston Center. There might be a professor, a coach, a tutor or a lab partner that needs to hear from you.

Despite what we see on most any television channel today, truly happy people are not rich, popular or have clever (not) nicknames like Snookie. Truly happy people have friends. And to have friends, you have to express yourself. You have to let people know you appreciate them. It does as much for your ego as it does for their egos.

Don’t get caught up in the hype and the rush at the end of the semester. Americans stink at closure. Take some time to say goodbye to the people that make up the memories you will carry of WKU. Because in the end when we are facing Mr. Death (and all the years between now and then), all we really have are the stories in our head of the people we like and the people that liked us. Do yourself a favor this semester. While you are busy with all the other end-of-term stuff (degree plans, paying fines, lifting holds, getting your robes, checking out of your room, hall and/or apartment), take some time to tell people goodbye.