Marina Keegan, a gifted writer and Yale student, died mere days after graduating last week in a car accident near Cape Cod. Her death has garnered national attention, and the Los Angeles Times covered the story. In addition, Marina’s moving last published words, which she penned for her fellow graduates on the occasion of their commencement, have been widely shared online after they were re-posted by the Yale Daily News Sunday when news of her death emerged. Here article is worth a full read, but here’s a brief excerpt:
Let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”
Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.
But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time…
A sober reminder to us all of the importance of living earnestly, and living well. And that every day could be our last.