As I sit here and begin to write this, there’s no doubt that I’m in denial. There are 6 days of class left before finals week begins. I have 10 classes to attend before I graduate. One exam to complete. 7 scheduled hours at a job I have become attached to over the past 3 years. And 11.5 hours left in an office I have come to love over the past 8 months.
There are 17 days until I officially graduate. And I’m not ready for a single one of them.
This is only the second time I have genuinely allowed myself to acknowledge what’s to come. The first time was a few days ago and I’d be lying if didn’t admit to crying a little…before blocking it out of my mind again until now. There’s already a lump in my throat after writing 135 words.
Whenever someone brings up the idea of graduation. End of the semester. Moving out. Any related topic…I immediately terminate the discussion. Change the subject. Respond sarcastically. And avoid acknowledging that any of it’s actually happening.
Sometimes I’m envious of the people who are counting down to graduation. May 18th. Seniors who are without a doubt ready to move on. But then I realize that I am beyond lucky to be sitting here – with a tear about to slide down my cheek – not quite ready to say goodbye.
Because this kind of sadness only comes from the most wonderful things. It’s the result of beautiful friendships that I’m afraid to be more than a block away from. It’s the sign of not wanting to say goodbye to some incredible mentors. It is the undeniable evidence that I have come to call this place home.
The last four years have been wonderful. Fast. Sad. Life-changing. Humorous. Full. Uncertain. Sincere. Educational. Happy. Perspective-changing. Beautiful. Friend-filled. Eventful. Indescribable. Eye-opening. Challenging. Carefree. Unforgettable. Embraced. Unbalanced. Balanced. Intellectual. Joyful. Outgoing. Irresponsible. Passionate. Genuine. Responsible. & Loved.
I have done more things that I had no intention of doing, than things I had intended to. This college…the people, have taught me more about who I am and what my place is in the world, than I could have ever imagined.
I came into college as a Business Major and to defy the statistics, will be graduating with a degree in Business Administration. But I did change my minor from music, to sociology, to communication studies. I secured a marketing position with the Sturzl Center, only to fall in love with the higher education and student affairs side of it instead. I became a first-year experience mentor to freshmen. I became assertive. I studied abroad. Drank alcohol…but only after I was legal. In Ireland. And I never lived with fewer than 6 people after my freshmen year.
I backpacked through Europe and used up all the money I had made during my summer internship. I came to college thinking I’d find a wonderful guy…and almost made it four years flying solo. Then this cool cat showed up in January and broke my streak. I only stayed in jazz band for one year. And would still label it as one of my hardest college “courses”. I was awarded an Exemplary Leadership Award. Fell in love with blogging. And took Social Inequalities…a course that has altered my perceptions and ideas forever.
I have teamed up with a professor to complete an independent study course focused on higher education. My sophomore year I applied and was accepted to transfer to the Carlson School of Management. But fell in love with my roommates and this college too much to seriously consider saying goodbye. I spent a classy spring break in Santa Barbara with 3 of my beautiful friends. My parents and sister have been there for every high, low, question and piece of advice. I started to love almond milk and guacamole. But still cannot sip a beer without wanting to chase it with a Dorito.
Two of my most wonderful friends got married. And I had the privilege of standing up in their weddings. My family visited me in Ireland. I held a chimpanzee. I walked a chimpanzee on a leash. I came to love the strangers who I got randomly assigned to live with, the ones I randomly volunteered myself to live with, and the ones who just showed up in my life. I applied to graduate school. And will be pursuing my master’s in the fall. But I just really don’t want to participate in graduation. For what it symbolizes, implies, and closes the chapter on.
When I see high school students on tours, I get jealous. “You’re so lucky to just be starting.” But at the same time, there’s no way I’d want to go back and do it again. Not because I wouldn’t actually want to do it again, but because there’s no way it could be as wonderful as it was the first time around.
This is my therapy. If you want to cry along with me, I welcome it.