I’m graduating from college in two and a half weeks. For the past month I’ve been feeling this strange sense of nostalgia even though school isn’t over yet. But I’ve been in school so long that it’s hard to imagine life without it. Many of my friends are continuing on—grad school or teaching credentials, etc.—and I feel almost as if I’m being left behind. The end is coming and before I know it, poof, it will all be over.
I felt this way before. I went to a boarding school for my last two high school years, and the month of May was always a bittersweet month where we felt the end closing in around us. The snow melted, and as the days turned warmer we started to feel nostalgic for the promise and excitement that the beginning held—the idea of living away from our parents, together, and forging new friendships, and limitless possibilities. As the end draws near, you think both about what comes next and what you didn’t do. The possibilities that fell to the wayside, the opportunities you missed.
As college comes to a close, the missed opportunities are clear. I never took a class with that one professor everyone loves, or I should’ve been active in that one club that seemed so cool but that I never attended. I should’ve used my free gym access more. I should’ve worked harder on this paper or on that midterm. The regrets begin to pile up.
But at the same time, my accomplishments become clear. I found out a few days ago that I won an award through my college’s English department. In that award letter, they cited some of the reasons faculty voted for me. In their doing so I realized that maybe I shouldn’t be so remorseful for what I didn’t do, and that I should focus instead on what I did do. I forged meaningful relationships with faculty and other students. I worked on two different grant projects. I was in a leadership position in one of the best (to me) clubs where I got to geek out about all my favorite books. I wrote some great papers and I learned a lot.
And outside of that, I wrote for me. I wrote two novels, revised them, then revised them again (and again and again and again). I wrote lots of blog posts. I put myself out there at a conference and networked the hell out of it. I met some great people that became mentors. I made new friends. And most of all, I realized that without these two years in college, and the people that encouraged me along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am.
So this is an ending. I’m not going to say it’s a beginning, because my journey began a long time ago. But it’s only one ending in this multitude of intertwining journeys that make up my life. College is over. But all of the things that college started for me will continue.
I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve made a post. This is the first in over a year. Once finals are over, I’m going to try to post more.