After my fall abroad in Paris and a semester at Amherst to end my junior year, it hit me that I only have one year left of college. Thinking back to the end of my freshman year, I remember thinking that college had changed me or at least I had matured so much. But as a rising senior thinking back to that time, I realize I had only been a baby, and I have grown even since then. This is both reassuring and terrifying. I’ve learned so much about friends, family, relationships, people, myself – but I have so much left to learn as well. Looking at this year’s graduates, I can only imagine how daunting the future is to them.
The first night following finals, I spent an evening sitting with my friends around a fireplace in front of the Lord Jeff Inn, a new privilege that had been on my college time bucket list for some time now. I highly recommend this to any Amherst student, especially if you, as my friend put it, “Thrive on pretention.” It’s a great setting to reflect and talk with friends, especially about time.
There is always at least one person I am going to miss in each graduating class, but the number seemed to increase each year. This year, I was reaching a new level of depression that I hadn’t really experienced before with the class that was leaving. It makes sense – this class has been with me practically my whole college career, and once they’ve graduated, any remnant from the beginning of my time there is officially gone. My captains and friends have left me.
I realize I’m being a little melodramatic, but going to this commencement was a little lens looking into what I am to experience in one year’s time. Who knows when I’m going to see the graduates, if ever again? To think this will be reality with my own class is what is clawing at my insides. My class and I are now going to be the oldest on campus with no one to look up to but ourselves. I know personally that the upperclassmen sculpted a large part of my college life, so what will it be without the upperclassmen I’ve looked up to or the ones who have been far too intimidating or the ones I’ve had massive crushes on or even the ones I feel like I’ve just met but gotten so close to?? Just a little more time is all I want…but I know a little more would turn into much longer, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, there’s no such thing as forever.
So all I can hope for is to stay in touch with those who leave and to appreciate those who remain even more. It sounds like I’m talking about the death bed, but I can’t deny that I felt genuinely sad watching the class of 2013 accept their diplomas and walk down the steps.
I have a pretty bad habit of yearning for what was and what will be. I guess graduates have had their time here and I’ve loved my time with them, so now it’s time to let them go. As a matter of fact, it’s time to let a lot of things go.
Transitioning into the summer, I’m going to appreciate the time and space that I am in now. I found myself at some point between finals and commencement sitting on the rooftop of a Brooklyn apartment, looking over lower Manhattan and the Hudson River as the sun was just beginning to set. My friends and I had a bottle of champagne and while I couldn’t avoid the transient nature of our evening, I couldn’t help but think, “I couldn’t ask for more.”
I’ve made new friendships, rekindled old ones, and gotten closer to others. I have, a great family, good music, a functioning set of six senses, and delicious food all the time – ALL THE TIME. So here’s to my final summer as a college student. Let the overly hot and humid summer begin!!