Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The End of an Era

I never thought this day would come...well, that's not true. To be honest, I haven't really thought much about it. In fact, I never really have. Fade back to 5 years ago. It's senior year of high school - the year everyone has been looking forward to since 7th grade. Everyone else has been planning their post-graduation vacations for 3 years and have all the details all worked out. They are busy calculating just how much they can slack and still "pass." They're like hounds, straining at the leash, just waiting to be released. Pan to the corner of the library [ok, in reality I worked on the floor in the hallway, but this is a flashback and sprawling on the floor isn't very idyllic]. See, I'm the kind of girl who keeps her head down... way down - nose pressed hard into what I'm doing until someone takes it away. There I am, pounding away on French essays, English lit, and Stats homework, wondering what other classes I can squeeze in.  Then all of a sudden, it's candy-red cap and gown, stand in front of the "A," and shake the principle's hand. Wait, what just happened? Oh, right, I graduated from high school. Cool. Didn't really see that coming, but great! Now what? Oh right, go to BYU; go be a big kid out in college land. Where they have even more cool classes and bigger hallways... *cough*, err... libraries. Ok, I can deal with that. So long Cavemen!

Fast forward to now. It's happening again! As if the graduation they just attended wasn't enough:

After all, didn't you just do that?
And once again, everyone is buying swimsuits, and planning big excursions to Thailand, and trying to fight off senioritis long enough to scratch a B out of all their classes. They're just itching to snatch that diploma and move on to bigger and better things. I will admit, a small part of me wants to join them. No more jumping through professors' hoops; I want to do what I want to do. But mostly I'm the lab partner who insists we come in late at night to finish the experiment and get the lab notebook done now, the student who does the homework even though it's the last one and is going to get dropped anyway, and who actually tries to study for the exams.

But, like it or not, we have come to the point of this post:
I am about to officially graduate from college.

That is such a strange notion. It seems my entire life I have been nose to the books, cramming all kinds of interesting odds and ends into my brain. School is what I do. School is what I'm good at.

Sure, I'm looking forward to summer as much as the next guy, but instead of going on a pointless trip (granted, I wouldn't say no to DC, but this girl doesn't have money for that), I'm mostly looking forward to working through old textbooks and playing around on Khan Academy. The bigger emotion preying on my mind?