A College Student's Farewell To Bellingham, WA And Its People
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A College Student's Farewell To Bellingham, WA And Its People

Please take care of my college town for me.

A College Student's Farewell To Bellingham, WA And Its People
Courtney Bowlden

Dear Bellingham,

As I pack up my apartment, study for finals, drive home kids from school (I work as a nanny), and grab coffee with friends, every place becomes nostalgic. When I grab coffee at Tony’s, all I can think about is that this where I wrote the last words of my thesis. When I am in my kitchen packing up mugs, all I can think about is that this is where I baked Christmas cookies with my friends. If I’m on campus, I definitely have ‘senior goggles’ remembering lectures by my favorite professors and running around in the dorms on ‘Princess Bride, Pajamas and Pie Night’ (I conveniently forget the stress and tears – usually anyway). Even when I am running errands downtown, all I can think about is wandering around at midnight with music still in my head, unreasonably excited about crepes.

I find myself looking through my phone at pictures, and they all come back to you, Bellingham: walks down the pier at Boulevard Park, breakfast at Harris Avenue Cafe, and hikes in the Chuckanuts.

Bellingham, Bellingham, Bellingham – I hardly knew you at all, and now it is time for me to say goodbye.

I can’t believe it’s been four years. They have gone by so incredibly fast, which is weird, because I feel like a completely different person. Bellingham, as beautiful and charming a city as you are, I will always love you best because you are the place that I grew up. 18 to 22 doesn’t seem like that big of a difference, but this is where I learned to be a ‘grown up’: where I cultivated friendships, took risks, and found out who I was without the safety net of my family and California community.

Bellingham is not perfect, though – far from it.

Please, people who love Bellingham and might be reading my letter, vote in the upcoming local election and continue to be politically active whether that be making phone calls for Planned Parenthood, or going to Farm Worker Justice pickets. I used to think that the cases of violence here came out of nowhere – then I realized the hate: the hate toward people of color, Muslims, and people who are undocumented always existed here, I just had the privilege not to notice.

Even though I have (hopefully) shown that I love this city, I think it is only fair that you would want the city to be the best it can possibly be. Even though I am moving away, I will always love this place, so please make sure that the candidates that are elected are ones that will promote love, acceptance and progress, and not the opposite.

Thank you, and much love,


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