The 5 Unexpectedly Hardest Goodbyes


This week, I was reminded how awkward the end of the year can be. “I hate saying goodbye. I can’t get properly emotional,” one of my best friends explained yesterday. She hugged me briefly, promised we would text, and walked away.

I’m the opposite. I need those strung-out endings, the hard and clear goodbyes. Especially at the end of sophomore year, when it feels like everyone is scattering a million miles to the wind. Seniors are graduating, people are going abroad, we are halfway done. The melancholy list goes on and on. And the end of exams is such an awkward time to say goodbye. Everyone’s at different places; no one’s head space is clear.  And no one prepares you for the 5 unexpectedly hardest goodbyes.

  • The person who lived next to you all year, who you never actually interacted with

Not sure about anyone else, but seeing the people next to me move out of Perkins was a completely bizarre experience. I finally put a face to the name I saw every day. You were the one with the loud music? You were the one who had a snowman sticker on your window? Why did we never talk?

Conclusion: 100%  too weird to say bye now



  • The person you hooked up with a few times, but never actually dated

A lot of us have that person. On Saturday nights, maybe you would shoot them an “R u up” text. Maybe they would hit you up, and seeing their name on your screen made you feel glittery. Or grossed out. Or just meh.

Conclusion: Do you currently say hi in the Ratty? If so, you can definitely say bye.


  • Your roommate

In my opinion, this is the hardest goodbye. Your roommate, for better or worse, knows you more intimately than anyone else. You most likely saw each other every day, fell asleep to their breathing, memorized their habits. Some of us were blessed with immaculate, considerate roommates with generous Keurig supplies. Others were messy, loud, possibly nocturnal. Maybe you had a roommate you never really got to know. Maybe your room was a shoebox, but you existed in tiny galaxies.

Conclusion: Depending on your relationship, leaving your roommate a note when you go is a nice way to conclude your year. Tell them thank you for dealing with your shit. Say you’re glad you had this experience together (even if you aren’t).

  • Your favorite professor

Saying bye to your favorite professor is unexpectedly challenging. You want to convey how much that person means to you, how they sparked your interest in economics or education or ornithology. 

Conclusion: You should definitely say bye. Professors often feel undervalued and overworked, so letting them know how much you enjoyed their class makes a huge difference. Drop by the last office hours and wish them a good summer.

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  • Your least favorite professor

We’ve all been there. Did they have a shitty curving system? Never grade on time? Quash all your hopes and dreams? Check, check, check.

Conclusion: Not much to say here. But course evaluations can be the sweetest goodbye of them all.


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