What I got out of this 4 year university... there's so much.

I can't describe it. It's bigger than me.

I'm driving away from UCLA on highway 405. The vibrations of the road are incredibly noticeable because of the way my tears are glazing my face. Wet skin feels different than dry skin, and this feeling is made more noticeable when vibrations from the imperfect road enter the mix.

I'm crying because I don't know how to express myself in any other way. This feeling, this powerful feeling inside of me. I don't think I can fully verbalize it. I'm trying to, with this piece of writing, but I think I'm going to fail. That's okay, though, because writing this is a natural expression of that deep deep emotion. In fact, I know I'm going to fail, and I'm okay with that, because this is the best I can do, and this feeling is for me.

The feeling that you will get from reading this is just an interpretation of an expression of what's inside of me. This emotion is so powerful to me that I am happy with just giving away that. I want it all for myself, which is ironic, because I feel this way thanks to all the people I met and got to know and grew to care about here.

I'm crying because I don't know how to express myself in any other way. I feel so strongly, but I have never had any other feeling like this in my life. As babies, we don't know how to express feelings in terms of language. So babies communicate the only way they know how to, they cry. It's only after growth that we learn words defined by culture and family to verbally express those feelings. Instead of simply crying, language lets us differentiate between nuanced thoughts and feelings. I am sad, I am mad, I am glad.

There are many words I don't know, and there is, theoretically, a word that perfectly expresses how I'm feeling. But if there was, I'd never know it. Because this feeling is so rare that I've never had to struggle with this before. This feeling is so rare and new to me that even if I used a word to describe it, other people would probably have their own conception of what it means. Babies cry because that's the only way they can express themselves. And so here I am, crying on the 405.

What would I want to say if I could express myself perfectly? I wouldn't be writing this if I could answer that... It is not one thought. This feeling, this idea about the world and myself and my friends and my school, it is not one thought. It is a self-confidence, and an overcome fear. It is abstract ideas and cheesy cliches and technical knowledge and good food and the beginnings and endings of friendships. And all of that is to this feeling as a period is to a sentence.

This feeling that I'm describing is only the end of UCLA, it doesn't even approach the sum of life that I lived and life that WAS lived while I was an official student.

I'm crying, because, like a baby, I can't express myself. There does not exist a word that I, and everyone I know, shares. There isn't a word that I can just point to, and everyone will be like "oh yeah, I get it. :)". I'm crying, because that feels so very very lonely, and I'm crying because I know how hard it will be to remind myself of this feeling in the future due to that fact.

I need a word, or a document, or a song smell sensation or picture to remind me of how goddamned alive I feel right now. I don't like that I need the tears, but I love that I have the feeling that necessities them. I'm listening to "Feels like Rain" by Passion Pit as I'm driving. I have pulled over, off of the highway, I'm outside of a Starbucks. What's more LA than that... writing down my feelings outside a Starbucks. I'm laughing at it, but also I love that I can have this experience. This experience is even part of the past 4 years that makes me so emotional right now to recount.

I writing this document so these thoughts can leave my head in peace, knowing that they won't be forgotten. I don't want to forget, but unless I vocalize or verbalize my thoughts and feelings, they will be lost. I accept that this feeling will fade, and become a distant memory, but I refuse to let the concept of it fade. This is how I feel at time=RIGHT NOW. And forever and always, at that same exact time, this feeling will forever be how I felt. I want to hold onto that memory. It is a very special memory, and I can tell that it will be that, even as I'm living through it.

And so I have a song and a document. I want a word, too, so I can talk to other people about it. Without having experienced this feeling first, they won't understand it. This word will mean nothing to children, or to adults that've never felt this way. It'll seem like a pointless made-up purple-prose word that needlessly obfuscates communication. But it won't be that to me, and that's good enough. This word is simply a handle I'll use to pull up the feelings that I have right now, to inspect them, admire them, and to treasure them.

I have the word in my head, but I don't want to say it out loud, because the word isn't something that gains value by being shared. This document is understandable, I'd love to think that this document gains value by being shared. But the word? The distillation of everything into a single atomic concept, it's too imprecise to be understood. Unless you've felt this way before, and read this document, and understand how I feel, then any utterance of this word would cause a miscommunication. But I suppose it would be a baby's strategy to just forgo the word and cry about it.

I keep insisting that I can't say the word because I'm scared. Scared that it won't be understood and then copied anyway. That would diminish its meaning, and people would throw around a word that means so much to me in a way that I don't understand. That scares me, because I'm thinking with my instincts instead of with logic. But I can say the word, you've all heard it before. And when you hear it you'll say "well duh, that makes sense". But this use of the word didn't make sense to me until just now, and that feeling is very precious to me. That realization that this word has been around me this whole time, but I had never seen this side of it until now, that's a very beautiful interpretation to me.

So when I say UCLA, I want you to know what it means to me. UCLA.