Stay: A Swan Song

Well, here we go.

It is finally time for to say goodbye not only to this blog, but to CofI and the family I’ve made here the last four years. That being said, sit your ass down and get ready for some imparted wisdom.

Sometime this year, I read a short story that kind of changed how I see life, the universe, and everything. The most ironic thing is that I do not remember the name of it. Or who wrote it. Or even what it was about. But, really, none of that is important in the grand scheme of things. The only part that stuck with me was a particular quirk of the main character. He was a very emotionally reserved German who kind of didn’t understand how people worked (#same). What made him interesting was the way he handled emotions. The way he saw it, every single feeling a human person could possibly experience fell into one of three categories: Fix, Nein, Stay. That’s how he handled things, by categorizing them in order to examine them more fully. Emotions that he described as Fix are when something is not exactly right and, clearly, it’s your job to make it right. This could be anything from revenge to hunger, anger to the need to pee. Fix is all about motivation. Nein is a little bit more extreme. Nein is when things are wrong, but you can’t, at the moment, find a way make it Fix. Nein is fear, it’s anxiety. Lastly, Stay is when everything is right with the world and you feel great—the idea behind it being that things in this category make a person want to make things stay exactly as they are. Stay is contentment, safety, and happiness.

There’s a point to all of this, I swear. And it’s this: being in college is a combination of thousands of Fix, Nein, Stay emotions. Procrastinating on homework is very Fix, as is dealing with the fact that you haven’t done laundry in 6 months. Getting in a fight with administration is very much Nein, but can turn into Fix if you try hard enough. Stay is your friends, The Goose, the moment when spring finally hits. The important thing is recognizing them. Nein is rare, though it seems like every little thing that even remotely goes wrong is Nein.  You have to realize nothing is as Nein as you think it is, no matter if you’re a freshman or a senior.

Whether we all like it or not, school is ending this week and we need to get ready. Besides graduation and job hunting and moving back in with your parents, it means getting mentally prepared for the millions of challenges you are about to face. There’s going to be a lot of Fix, Nein, Stay. Sit tight and we’ll get through it.

Because the good news is, if I have learned anything the last four years, is that college is, and always will be, very much Stay.

And that’s all I really have to say.

Thanks for reading,

Ashley A. Miller


Ashley is a senior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho who is absolutely not crying why would you even ask.