We meet again, Dear Reader! Long time, no talk. I hope your skies have been blue and your heart has been light.

It feels kind of funny writing a post for “Cath in College,” when in fact, I am no longer in college. That’s right–cha girl has graduated!

Some things nobody tells you about graduation and the week leading up to it:

  • You won’t sleep a wink. Between the a gut-wrenching obligation to squeeze every ounce of joy out of your final hours with the people you’ve just built a life with over the four most transformative years of your life and accomplishing the logistical grad week pains–getting your cap, getting your gown, washing your car so your parents don’t see the filth you actually live in–you’ll be lucky if you can get more than 4 hours a night. No kidding.
  • That sentimental last goodbye you see in the movies doesn’t exist. Maybe it does at other schools, if they orchestrate some kind of grand goodbye facilitation ceremony, but at Stanford you spend all day Sunday with your family for graduation ceremonies, then they kick you out of your dorm by 2pm on Monday. Any time you could spend saying goodbye is spent tetris-stacking cardboard boxes into caravans. Moreover…
  • There’s no good time to cry. (I’m a crier. Sue me.) One day, two friends and I got back to our house right after a perfectly pleasant dinner out and laid down on the bed and I just started crying. In most circumstances, these two would have fled to me and asked me what was wrong and tried to console my heartache. But this time, it was silent. They knew why. We all knew. But nobody had the words to say it.
  • Friendships get weird. You’d think at the end of these 4 years people would be riding this incredible love-high for each other, but so many friendships went on the fray in those last couple weeks. Mine and others’. Friends stopped talking, BFFs started arguing about the tiniest things… man, it was weird.

All that being said and settled, the day of Graduation itself was the happiest day of my life.

My heart soared when I looked around and saw my grandparents, who came to this country 50 some-odd years ago to build a better life for their children and grandchildren, and my friends, who have made me into the person I am today, all on the sunlit paths of my home one last time. It was fulfilling and airy and light–almost to the point of non-reality. I can’t really explain how something so visceral can also feel so distant. The entire day sort of felt like an out of body experience.

Fast forward two months…

…and I now come to you from the cushy charcoal grey couch of my new apartment in Los Angeles, California. One of my roommates is cooking pasta in the kitchen, and soft tracks from Spotify’s Country Gold playlist are lulling in the background. My feet are wrapped in a fluffy knitted throw that we splurged on at IKEA– a whole $25… fancy, fancy. We’ve got mail trays next to the fridge where we keep our gas, electricity, and internet bills. I keep my work heels separated from my running sneakers on the bottom shelf of my in-wall closet. We’ve got towels stacked in the linen closet, tomatoes, fresh berries, and Chardonnay in the fridge, and a lawn chair out on the balcony behind me.

Don’t be fooled–I am only playing adult. (But I’m having so much pretending!)

Looking back…

The way I see it, the chapter that Stanford captured in my life has closed. And holy cannoli, was it a chapter. I explored my passions, I dealt with peer pressure, I experienced judgment, I met the most incredible people I’ve ever known, I was depressed, I got help, I fell in love… I changed in ways freshman me didn’t even know I could change.

And despite all of that, or perhaps because of all that, I don’t feel like I’m floundering through an ocean of ambiguity now that I’ve left the Stanford campus. “Adulting” doesn’t scare me. It challenges me, and that challenge excites me.

So since my time in college has ended, so too must this college-based project of mine. Cath in College has been a transformative passion project for nearly all of my time at Stanford, and I hope that some of my experiences, reflections, and learnings can live on forever, here in this little corner of the internet. But even though my time operating the Cath in College blog and YouTube channel is coming to an end, the legacy of inspiring young life-livers to say yes to adventure, love the game of learning, and follow their wildest dreams, can live on. I’d like to pass on a piece of that very CiC mission to someone new.

Dearest readers, please meet Amanda.

Amanda is going to be a freshman at New York University this fall as a member of the class of 2022. She plans on studying Film and Television Production and Business, with the goal to equip herself with the tools she needs to tackle her biggest mission: increasing the visibility of under-represented groups in the media. A long-time dedicated fan and member of the Cath in College Community, Amanda is the winner of the Cath in College Scholarship.

Though the industry has come a long way with diversity, I intend to disrupt this more recent trend by creating roles in film and television that feature dark skinned black women as the magical multifaceted humans we are. Representation can make or break a child’s dreams and I hope to be the face that a generation of kids will look up to and think: If she can do it, so can I. My mind and notebooks are teeming with screenplays and project ideas that I hope to make a reality while in film school and in my professional career. I know achieving these goals starts with an education that the Cath in College scholarship will make more financially attainable.

Amanda will use the funds from the $1,000 Cath in College Scholarship to kickstart her journey at NYU. Please congratulate Amanda and wish her good luck at NYU by leaving a comment below!

So this is goodbye…

With that, I’ll leave you with something I wrote for a dear friend during the months leading up to graduation. It’s a passage that encompasses how I felt in those final days on The Farm, and how I feel even now–an attempt at wisdom, a result of the learnings life has given me the opportunity to gain throughout these past four unforgettable years of living:

The world that lies beyond our undergrad years here at Stanford is a world currently comprised of more questions than answers. We’re setting out into the great unknown, with nothing but the knowledge in our brains and whatever we could cram into our suitcase. And yet somehow, as gaping and as boundless as it all might seem, the minutes that comprise hours that comprise days that comprise years will soon pass, just as surely as these 22 years have passed before to get us to this moment.

I’m starting to learn that the day we “wake up” and see it all laid out in front of us will never happen, because each day is just as much a new end as a new beginning, rich of the same potential to be firey and special.

Gone are the constraints of four-year plans and the limits of majors. Soon, perhaps starting right now, each day will be an opportunity to make it all happen. To put pen to paper, words into action, love into art. To take up our heart swords and begin the endless battle that is fighting the good fight.

The world is a canvas. I feel blessed to paint it with you.

I feel blessed to paint it with you, Dear Reader. Thank you.

Stay golden,


The spirit of Cath in College lives on! Wish Amanda good luck and share your best advice in the comments below! 🙂 -Cath

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com

20 comments

  1. Hi Cath! I have been watching your journey through college ever since I was at the wee age of 12! Im 15 now, and only a sophomore in high school. Though I still have many years to come until college, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for showing me not to be afraid of the world, to always work hard, and to always strive for greatness. I have looked up to you for years. You are a great role model to young, curious girls like me and I am forever grateful. I just cant wait to go to college and face all the obstacles it has to offer with no fear and an open mind, thanks to you.

    Love from the Philippines!
    With best regards, Alyza.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your memories and wisdom with us Cath. You’ve had a profound influence on the way I’ve viewed learning, your blog has warped parts of how I view the world for the better, and I will always be grateful for that. Wishing both you and Amanda the best of luck with all your future adventures!

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  3. Thank you Cath. Thank you for everything. I never knew how much you had influenced my life until I finished reading this blog post and immediately broke down into tears. I know you are moving on to bigger and better things and I am so excited to see where your next adventure takes you. I cannot believe it has already been four years, and the time has come for you to leave this part of you behind. It was inevitable for this time to come, but I never thought it would be so quick. I have grown so much as a person because of your intelligent words and for that I thank you. Although the chapter of Cath in College is over, I hope you never forget how much you were loved and appreciated by dear readers and viewers from all over the world. We love you forever and always Cath <3. Never stop doing what you are doing, because you are doing absolutely amazing.

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  4. Hey Cath,
    I actually cried reading this post. I didn’t realize how much I missed your words. This post also made me realize how grown up I am.

    Maybe you will or maybe you won’t remember – but about two years ago you received an email from me, when I was living on La Réunion as an au pair and had deeply struggled with an inferiority complex, because of how I felt towards you, your accomplishments, your way of life.
    I wanted to give you a small update – in the email I said I wanted to continue being an au pair for a while. Well, that never happened. I returned back home to Germany on Christmas Eve 2016, spent about two months whining and not knowing where I was headed in my life (and also trying being an au pair in Abu Dhabi which was no success at all), then started a rather random internship, got a job in a new city and moved there. I have been here now for about a year, working in the tourism industry, which is something so fitting for me yet never crossed my mind before I started that internship last spring. And I’ll stay here for another year and a half before I’ll hit the road again and seek out adventure in the world.

    Our paths are so different, Cath, but seeing what your life and thoughts and experiences were like, especially considering you’re the same age as me, has been really inspiring for me during the past two years and a half.

    I wish you the best of luck for your future, and I have no doubt that at some point in my life I will be reading about you somewhere. You’re such a motivation to live life. And to work hard and not to let anyone else make your decisions for you. So thanks, I need to stop now, I’m just getting sad.

    Sending you love,
    Anna

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  5. Hi Cath!

    I will miss all you guys a lot. All the best for your future endeavours. 😊

    Love from India! Regards, Kalhan Raina

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  6. hey cath! i hope you’ll read this 🙂 i haven’t known your channel for very long, but when i first found it i instantly fell in love with it. you made me fall in love with stanford, and now i’m headed into high school hoping to make great memories at The Farm in the future like you did. thank you, cath, for all the great contents you put out for some strangers on the internet and made someone find their goal for the future. i didn’t think saying goodbye to CIC would been this hard, but i just realized how much of an impact you & your channel had on me. i don’t know you personally, but i know that you are a fantastic person and the future holds amazing things for you. thank you again for inspiring me. best of luck in whatever path you may take and i hope to see you again in the future. god bless you xx

    p.s. congrats amanda (if you’re reading this ;)), i hope your future at nyu is filled with excitement and joy x

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  7. I’m so sad that Cath in College is over, but I’m so happy you shared so much with us. We started and ended at the same time and your videos helped me to see the beauty of life and exploring. I wish you well and I hope you continue to have peace in your life. 💖

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  8. I found Cath In College during eighth grade after visiting Stanford over Spring break, and since then I’ve continuously been inspired to be chill and “do what I want to do”. Cliché as it sounds, as someone who found this blog when they were pretty young, I’ve picked up so many lessons that I still keep in mind and try my best to follow! I’m still 2-3 years from college but I’m excited to make the most of it. Thank you and congrats to Amanda! 🙂

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  9. I found this channel/blog when I was a sophomore in high school and now I’m in the middle of applying to college. Cath, thank you so much documenting the highs and lows of life in college. You had such a big impact on me as I navigated high school. I’m so sad to see this platform end, but so excited for you and your new journey. Thank you for your guidance.

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  10. Hey, Cath! Thank you so much for documenting your college journey with us. As I complete my last two years of college, I would like to thank you for showing me (us) the true experience of college life. I’ve been an avid ghost viewer/reader since you’ve started your blog/channel but I felt the need to thank you for the first and last time! Good luck with everything; as I know you’ll achieve great things in life! 🙂

    Also, congratulations to Amanda! Good luck in NYU and hopefully the next 4 years are great for you!!

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  11. I found your channel when I was a freshman in high school 4 years ago. In a way, it feels like I’ve grown up with you and as we finish this chapter in both of our lives I wanted to thank you. For being a role model and our friend. For showing us your highs AND lows. For building such a strong community of enthusiastic, ambitious readers. For not feeding us BULLSHIT about the college experience. Cath, I’ve grown to admire you for so many reasons. I’ll be thinking of you as I start these next 4 years at college. Thank you.

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  12. Oh man, this made me tear up :’) I’ve looked up to you since my sophomore year of high school and now as a senior I’m so sad to say goodbye but so, so grateful for the impact you’ve had on my life. I know you’re going to do amazing things and Amanda is, too!! Much love and good luck to both of you! xx

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