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Gabbing with Grace: who are we?

Grace Sherban
Grace Sherban contemplates how the people we meet in life impact our personalities.

A few weeks ago, I decided to rewatch the “Before Trilogy” with Ethan Hawke and Julia Delpy. Over the course of three movies, director Richard Linklater tells an expanded love story that spans multiple decades. Upon my rewatch of the second film in the trilogy, “Before Sunset,” which also happens to be my favorite, I was struck by one line in particular.

After reflecting on how fascinating the small traits and characteristics of each individual person she meets are, Delpy’s character Céline says, “I guess when you are young, you believe that you will meet many people with whom you’ll connect with, but later in life you realize it only happens a few times.”

In everyday life, we encounter so many people and sometimes it can be difficult to fathom the deep interconnection and relationships that exist within the scope of not only a college campus but the world. However, despite these many connections, how many of them are of any real quality? How many of them are able to stand the test of time?

Editor-in-Chief Laken Kincaid ’24 once said something very profound that has stuck with me and has been on the forefront of my mind as of late. Essentially, their main argument was that we are an amalgamation of the five people we spend the most time with. Imagine a detective board with your picture at the center; a red string connects words and phrases from your personal vocabulary that were picked up from those closest to you.

When thinking about my personality and identity in this way, a lot of things started to make sense. It’s not uncommon to pick up the mannerisms of another person, especially when you spend an exorbitant amount of time together. Yet, spending time and developing a worthwhile, meaningful connection are not mutually exclusive. Not to mention, the five people are more often than not going to change even if you don’t want them to.

In my own experience, I find it important to recognize the fleetingness of every moment so I don’t take it for granted. One day, I am going to miss the silly, routine interactions that comprise most of my day, despite them not being thought of as monumental in the present. The five people I spend the most time with now may change but I hope to be able to keep them in my memory. I will not see the same people everyday but I keep our connection alive in the way I treat people, the way I talk.

“Before Sunset” epitomizes the “five people” theory in a way that not many people are able to relate to. After nine years, a chance interaction between two people is so impactful that the pair decides that they can’t live without each other. A permanent spot in that elusive top five ranking doesn’t seem like a possibility to me.

All this to say, people may come and go but the moments created together are permanent even if we may forget their origins. Some people say you are what you eat, I say you are who you surround yourself with.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sherban
Grace Sherban, Editor-in-Chief
Managing Editor Grace Sally Sherban was born in the early hours on Tuesday May 20, 2003. She spent most of her childhood hooting, hollering and joshing around while constantly reading and watching movies in between. She continues to do much of the same now while double majoring in Communications and English so she stays busy between all the hooting, hollering, joshing around, listening to herself talk, class, walking in the rain and work. Grace’s biggest goal in life is to write a comprehensive novel about the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race and its implications on the movie industry. To request the slideshow on the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race, she can be reached at [email protected]

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