After Fatal Car Crash, Yale Graduating Senior’s Reflection Essay Goes Viral

A recent essay by a Yale University graduating senior reflecting on her time in school and limitless future possibilities is spreading across the wider web in the wake of her sudden death Saturday in a car crash.

Within the piece, featured in a special commencement issue of The Yale Daily News, 22-year-old Massachusetts native Marina Keegan shares her affection for the Yale community, defining the security and warmth it provided her as “the opposite of loneliness.”  She also reminds her fellow graduates that even though they may already feel limited by their chosen degrees, peer competition, and general life stresses and responsibilities, they are still free to grab hold of the world and leave an imprint upon it in whatever way they want.

In her words, “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. … What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”

While powerful in their own right, her sentiments took on special meaning and made national news after reports confirmed Keegan had died over the weekend when the car in which she was riding veered off the road, hit a guardrail, and rolled over twice.  Prior to the accident, she had been set to begin work as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker.

Two of the comments posted beneath her piece:

“What a cruel turn of events. I only knew you through your byline and through mutual friends, but through them, you showed yourself as one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. The world is less without you, Marina. Rest in peace.”

“I think it’s time for us to remember that the same thing could happen to us. We think we are so young, that we have so much time, but it could all end in a second. She was looking forward to so much, and this was not one them. We should not fear. And we should hold each other while we have them.”

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