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A Letter To The Class of 2014

May 15, 2014

DePauw University Class of 2014,

Goodbyes are never an easy task to accomplish. Many times, the tears exceed the laughter and you forget everything you wanted to say. Regardless, they make us feel better. Somehow, the sadness of a goodbye produces such a happy future for those involved. A little less than two years ago, I enrolled in Doug Smith’s “Skills of Happiness,” course during Winter Term. Everyday, he would share with us a quote he created that said, “Remember the past with peace, anticipate the future with confidence, and live in the present with joy and exuberance.”

I started having these “goodbye” conversations last night, and they were extremely difficult. The reason they were so difficult? Because you, the Class of 2014, are an amazing group of individuals. Through your leadership, you have created a DePauw that is exciting for underclassmen to come back to. You have taught us the importance of doing well academically and having fun socially. You have become our best friends and the ones we count on.

As I was saying these “goodbyes,” I very well thought my world was ending. It felt like I was losing my “people.” The ones I go to for advice and a “point in the right direction” when I feel lost. But you know what? Because your class was such an inspiring one. Because your class lead our school with excitement. Because your class took the time to get to know everyone on campus. And because you are who you are, I know DePauw or I will never forget the unforgettable Class of 2014.

So, in these next few days, when we all continue to have these “goodbye” conversations, realize a few things. Seniors, remember that your DePauw experience will not end on Sunday afternoon. You will carry with you the memories and relationships of DePauw for the rest of your life. Underclassmen, realize that as we transition into upperclassmen, it is our job to take what the seniors have taught us, and become those “people” for the classes below us. Just as the Class of 2014 took us under their wings, taught us their ways, and showed us the ins-and-outs of DePauw, we must now fulfill that job. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be difficult, but it will forever remind us of the Class of 2014...the ones who taught us what we know.

Seniors, thank you for being our mentors, our friends, our best friends, and our leaders. I can only imagine how difficult this entire week must be for you. But, as you’re saying these “goodbyes,” I encourage you to always, “Remember the past with peace, anticipate the future with confidence, and live in the present with joy and exuberance.” Jumping into the unknown is a scary thought, but you will always have DePauw and the relationships you formed here to help get you through.

Much love and congratulations,

Kevin Bugielski '16
@kevin_bugielski