by Chris Canniff
I will be graduating in a few weeks, but I am not quite feeling the same anxiety that my classmates are experiencing because I will be back at BC next year for graduate school. While the majority of the Class of 2014 will be heading off to different parts of the country and other parts of the world for new schools or new jobs, I will be here living in the same dorms, eating in the same dining halls, studying in the same libraries, learning in the same classrooms, and working with the same professors. Whereas my classmates will be experiencing so many new things, so much will be the same for me. What will be strikingly different, however, is precisely the fact that my classmates will not be here with me.
Over four years at BC, you accrue many friends and many more acquaintances. It is these people whom I will miss very much next year. Inviting a friend to come hang out at a moment’s notice, the chance of running into a friend during the day and stopping for a quick chat, or the occurrence of a simple smile and wave when you spot a friend walking on the other side of the quad—this is what I will miss. Certainly, I have friends who are underclassmen, so it is not like I will be alone. It is just that far fewer of the people whom I know best will be here with me; these people with whom I have most closely shared my BC experience will not be a part of this next chapter of my time here.
C.S. Lewis once said, “In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends ‘You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.’ The friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others.”
Now, these circumstances drawn up by the “secret Master of Ceremonies” to bring us together will yield unto other circumstances which, on the contrary, may lead us apart. It is a bit sad and scary to think about this. These new circumstances will surely bring us to meet new people in life and make new friends, but what about these ones whom we have made here? I suppose that I do not really have an answer for this.
It will be hard to say goodbye to friends whom I have known since freshman year. It will also be hard to say goodbye to friends whom I have met only this year and whom I wish I had more time to get to know. The best I can think to say is that we should simply be grateful that the Master of Ceremonies ever chose these friends for us in the first place. The beauty that we have come to see in them and to know through them is all thanks to Him. To have even known that beauty is more than we deserve, and yet He has given it to us abundantly in our friends. How truly beautiful it has been to be here with them!