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Que sera'ed, sera'ed

Hola, amigos. Sadly, this is the last time I will be able to address you all as a voice that does not reflect the views or opinions of the Tower of Campus Thought and Action. But I won't dwell on this being my senior column, as that is what every senior column seems to do. Another thing every senior column seems to do is comment on what every senior column seems to do. Oh, well. If I only fall into one cliché in this entire article, that may be a new Chronicle record.

Suffice it to say, my time here at Duke has taught me a lot (there goes that record). And I don't just mean the best illegal places to park (I won't ruin them by writing them here) and what to do on a random Tuesday night (Joyce Pub Quiz-providing you're of age). Instead, I am referring to something more universal. Over my four (maybe five if I don't submit my Modes of Inquiry transfer request form soon) years in the Gothic Wonderland, I believe I have developed a mindset. Grasped a cosmic truth, if you will (you won't? Deal with it). Actually, this grand epiphany is pretty simple.

Que sera, sera.

For those of you who don't "habla espanol" (myself included), it doesn't matter. This is, of course, because "que sera, sera" is not a direct translation of any actual language. I just found that out while writing this article. See? At Duke, the learning never stops.

Anyway, the phrase is meant to translate into English as "whatever will be, will be," and is the name of the 1956 Oscar winner for "Best Original Song." If you don't know the tune, go look up the Simpsons clip in which it is featured (after all, that's where I first heard it).

Simple, right? In fact, it seems ludicrously simple. How can this gibberish phrase that leaves nothing in life to free will be some sort of grand epiphany induced by collegiate life?

Well, it took me a while to realize its philosophical importance. You see, I am an absolutist. I mean this not in the Hegelian or monarchical sense, but in my own, which I will now explain. Try as I might, I cannot help thinking of things in the most definitive terms. For instance, this is my last column as a Duke undergraduate, this Saturday will be my last Big Show as a member of Duke University Improv, I will never be 20 years old again, etc. Truth be told, it can be depressing.

Now, I realize this self-classification doesn't answer the above question. However, it does give some context. In daily interactions, I try not to think of how this is my last week as a Duke student or how I may not see someone I've been friends with while at Duke ever again, but such thoughts creep in. Because of this feeling of exaggerated importance stemming from the definite nature of life's events, I often dwell on decisions I make because I view them as permanent marks on the journey of my life, when in fact they are often fleeting moments that likely will never result in any lingering issues down the road.

How do I cope with this inflated sense of the significance of each occurrence in my absolute life?

Que sera, sera.

In reflecting on my time at Duke with a senior friend recently, he extolled the truest and yet most obvious assessment of our time in Durham.

"We did the best we could."

Yes, yes we did, seniors. We did the best we could. No matter how we lived, no matter whom we helped or whom we hurt, the past is past. Que sera'ed, sera'ed. We can only look forward to the future and strive to do better everyday. As much woulda, coulda, shoulda as has filled our time in Duke's hallowed halls, it is all irrelevant as we move into the great journey that is the rest of our lives. As the Flaming Lips once said, "All we have is now."

And I'm not about to let it just sera.

Brett Aresco is a Trinity senior. This is his last column.


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