When I began writing this column, it was the summer before my senior year of high school. As someone who had a lot to say, and albeit, still does, I found this column to be just what I needed: a place to share.
Over these last couple of years, I shared, reflected upon, and documented my confrontations with my biggest fears, my anxieties about college, how I grew to love the moments that built me, and more. My intention was to share moments of my life, each month, that had challenged me, with the hopes that I could bring some comfort or laughter to those who needed it.
However, I did not anticipate just how much I would receive in return.
Through the WAVE column, I was able to document many firsts and lasts. I was given a reason to take the time to reflect on the good, the mistakes, and the moments when I learned the most.
Looking back at the articles I wrote, I can picture where I was when writing them as well as each struggle, fear, and embarrassing moment I chose to share. I recall re-reading my first article for the 50th time before finally submitting it, writing on the way to my final speech meet, and sitting in my first-year dorm room with my friends, editing with a scary movie on in the background. Although still imperfect, I can see how far I have come.
And when I left home for college last year, this column helped to alleviate my occasionally budding symptoms of homesickness, too. It became a reminder of this town where I spent summer days with my friends on the lake, cried over my first B grade, suffered many tumbles down the mountain while snowboarding, and learned how to drive a car.
For the last couple of days, I wondered what the best words I could leave you with would be. I tried to think of something funny, then something sentimental, and for just a moment, even something that rhymed. Ultimately, I simply decided to pass along some of the things I am prioritizing for myself: be kind, speak up and fight for the things that matter, let those you love know you love them, and take time for yourself by trying at least one new thing a week (like eating your vegetables).
As Charlie Brown said, “Goodbyes always make my throat hurt,” but as I get ready to start my second year of college, it finally feels like the right time to say farewell.
Thank you to everyone who has tuned in. It has been a pleasure.
This column has been a regular feature of the Tribune's monthly WAVE page. Do Yeon Kim is a Detroit Lakes High School graduate who is now a college student at Harvard.