I have to admit, there is a mixture of emotions traveling through my body—there are moments were I feel happy as I just finished my thesis, I do not have worry much about reading that book in full before next class, or an essay final. Yet there are also moments of sadness, but a good sadness, the type that storms over you when you realize that all good things come to an end.
As I reflect back on who I was in the Fall of 2018, a first-year poetry student that was about to attended their first workshop with Tony Trigilio, I can say I am honestly surprised, and proud, of my growth as both a poet and as a human being. While I always considered myself to be a writer and a poet since my days as an undergraduate student, I would be lying if I told you I knew where my writing was going take me, or what direction I wanted to gear me in. I walked into my first workshop as a Columbia student a bit nervous, and anxious, with second thoughts of whether or not I was cut out for an MFA program.
I can confidently say that those anxieties in body were for nothing. Throughout my time a Columbia, I not only figured what type of writer I was, but I also discovered where I want my writing to go, instead of letting it navigate me. My writing was initially more language-based, with an emphasis as sound and vague imagery, but now, as I prepare to exit Columbia with my degree completed, I know what my writing style is, and it is not that—
I am a poet that explores, examines, and interrogates the intersections between Latinx-American culture, immigration, and language. I am a poet that tells the lost stories of my family that has immigrated from México and Puerto Rico and their attempt to assimilate into American Culture.I am a poet that writes about the self in an honest way as it tries to navigate the world as a second generation Latinx-American that feels that grapples of two cultures colliding.
While I happy with where I am with myself as a writer, inevitably there are things that I am going to miss. I will miss my cohort, first and foremost. My cohort was special that in not only did we mesh well as writers trying to explore our own craft, we also connected on a level that goes beyond just being classmates—from hanging out at outside reading events, to visiting each other’s houses for parties celebrating birthdays, life events, I will miss the consistent day-to-day interactions with them. And let us not forget the faculty as well. I will miss the professors saying hi as we squeeze past each other on the fourth floor of the 33 Building, or simply saying hi to them as I walk into Stage Two for a Columbia Reading Series.
But what I will definitely miss most of all is running to class with an iced coffee in my hand, thinking to myself I cannot wait until this all over.
What is to come next? I can quiet say that I have answer for that, but what I can say is I have a better understanding of who I am now, and where my passions lie.