A Breakup Letter to My University: It's Not You, It's Me

Dear Bentley University,

These type of letters are never easy to write, but it’s something I have to do. So I’m just going to cut to the chase…we’re over. It is time to go our separate ways.

We’ve spent three and a half years together. Would I change that if I could? No. Would I stick around for another three and a half? Hell no. I can honestly say that this relationship needed to end…we simply grew apart. I am definitely not the same person I was when we first met.

Coming out of my relationship with high school, I was eager to embrace you, ready for a more mature type of relationship with my education. I had fantasized what our “grown up” relationship would be (I blame the media for that one). Thinking that college would be the best four years of my life, that I would always long to be back with you, that my weeks would be filled with classes that flew by, my weekends would be centered around school traditions and class comradery, that my life would be one happy episode of Greek, and I’d find my Cappy to live happily-ever-after with.

What I really ended up with was a rollercoaster of emotions. This was not an easy three and a half years and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there were times when I wanted to throw in the towel and walk out. I’m so happy I didn’t though. And here’s why: I learned more about myself in this turmoil relationship then I have in my whole life.

As cliché as it might sound, I really did find myself while I was with you. I learned what I wanted from my education, my future career, and relationships. I think the most important thing I can walk away with was learning just how much I can handle. There is no way that before my time at Bentley I would have ever been planning a trip across the world, by myself! I thought that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But because of everything I’ve gone through with you, I feel braver and less afraid of the world than my 18 year old freshman self.

Another serious takeaway? Learning what real friendship means!  Sophomore year sucked. Part of that reason was because of a very serious falling out I had with with of my friends at the time. Long story short, I lost respect for them and that was clearly mutual because I was “kicked out” of the crew. I had to make new friends…half way through college. This turned out to be a major blessing in disguise though because the people that stood by me when I was lost, turned out to be the greatest group of people I could have asked for. I’ll never forget how kind and supportive they were (and still are!) when all I needed was a hand to hold. It took a good metaphorical punch in the face from life to wake me up and show me that real friends aren’t just around when times are good, but rather there to catch you when you fall. But the most important lesson I learned through sophomore year is that while friendships are so important, the most important relationship I can have is with myself. And it’s ok if it’s the hardest relationship that I’m in. Actually, it should be.

Because of you, Bentley University, I’m smarter, braver, and stronger. I still have a long way to go, but I can say I’m walking away from you with the skills and tools I need to not only get by in life, but flourish. I’m leaving with a killer education in business, but the most important lessons you’ve taught me have been outside of the classroom.

College is suppose to end. And I’m happy we didn’t have a perfect relationship, or else it would be way to difficult to walk away. But, I guess I need to say thank you. Thank you for the laughs, the late nights filled with laughter, the friendships that came out of my time with you and even the unhealthy ones that I ended up cutting out of my life. Thank you for preparing me for the business world, for introducing me to Boston, and for teaching me how to turn ideas into reality. Thank you for making me realize who I want to be. Now it’s time to leave you and prepare for my next big adventure, backpack in hand.

Off to bigger and better things!


Bernadette W. Hopen