The Piece I Wish I Wrote

“What do you wish you had written?”

It’s definitely an odd question because it hints at regret, and as a senior, I have been thinking about what I wish I would have done both academically and socially. I’ve always been attracted to pieces that inspire using personal experiences because it brings out the author’s personality along with the author’s creative approach. There is one piece that I wish I wrote which appeared in the Yale Daily News, Yale’s student newspaper (the equivalent to the Michigan Daily):

The Opposite of Loneliness

This is a short piece you have to read if you are about to graduate. There’s a haunting feeling about this piece because the author passed away in a car accident just a few days after graduation. The main argument of the piece is this idea of what happens after graduation and how it’s ok to not have it all figured it. She reflects on this term “the opposite of loneliness,” which we don’t have a word for, but she describes what this feeling is like. It’s not necessarily a feeling of having a ton of friends, but feeling that you’re not on your own. A feeling I completely understand and feel myself. Keegan writes this specifically about Yale, but it’s also so generalized that I can apply the same ideas to my experience here at Michigan as well. All I have to do is replace “Yale” with “Michigan” instead. Writing like this is powerful because it targets more than one audience.

“Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year.”

Part of the reason I wish I wrote this myself is that this whole piece is so relatable (as cliche as that is) and easy to read. I identify with knowing that I’m going to lose my circle of people here that I can easily call if I ever need help or if I’m bored. I love that her writing is short and concise. The sentence structure makes it’s very easy to read and delivers each of the points well. With the short sentence structure, it really makes me think about each point as I come across it.

“We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young.”

I wish I had written this article because I feel like this is something I could have written. There’s honesty and wittiness and insecurity littered throughout, which are things that I admire in other people’s writings. I think the idea of the “opposite of loneliness” is intriguing, and I had to google “antonyms lonely” just to make sure that this claim she makes of not having an exact word to define this term is true. I found that the closest antonym is “popularity,” but I’m not sure if that even fits into the way Keegan defines it. So, Keegan defines this term in her own way which gives this piece even more of a personal touch.

Keegan takes what can be a cliche topic about graduating and moving into the real world and gives the reader a new way of looking at it. I hope to be able to do the same thing and write about a topic that’s been written about before in a new way. For my capstone project, I’m looking at the topic of first generation college students and there have been articles done about them before, so I do have to see what new insights I can add to the conversation.

Melody Ng

Melody is currently a senior studying business.

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