I’ve rewritten the beginning of this column three times now. On my first try I let all the fear and anguish of graduation out, the second I tried to be calm and think positively about the future. The third time I just pounded my fist against the keyboard.
I find it hard to express what I’m feeling about graduation. Lately, though, I’ve been on the verge of tears, either because I’m so sad that I won’t get to live with my best friends anymore, or because I’m so happy that I’ll never have to write another annotated bibliography in my life again (I know it’s for my own good, Dr. Florschuetz, but who other than an English professor would sing the praises of another annotated bib?).
Just a few moments ago I think it hit me for the first time that I’ll have to leave Trinity. My bestie Bethany (hey girl!) texted me to tell me that she walked out of Body Pump and started crying because she just realized we’re leaving (Don’t be embarrassed; your emotions are touching.) People have said things like that to me for months and I was always just like that Chelsea Handler meme, “You’re freaking me out right now.”
Now it’s real. Maybe it’s the fact that I have an interview for hopefully my first real job on Monday (which I probably just jinxed) or that all of my other friends are breaking down around me that’s changed things. Whatever it is, here’s my rationale for not having an emotional breakdown at graduation:
It’d be super embarrassing to cry while shaking President Ahlburg’s hand up in the tower (although I’m sure he’d be super cool about it).
We’ll see each other again, friends. Remember those cruise plans I was trying to cook up and all of you let die? Yeah, that’s going to happen eventually. We have the rest of our lives to get sunburns and schwasted together. We’re never too far apart or grown up to take a cargo ship to Ireland (It only takes three weeks, after all! Or was it 13…?).
This means I get to eventually buy my own apartment, cook my own food and maybe get my very own cat someday soon! But Simba and Felix will always be mine; I don’t care what the Cat Alliance or anyone else who thinks they share your affection says. Bethany gave me a framed picture of them for my birthday. They’re my family and I’m so sad we don’t get to grow old together.
I’ve heard life after college actually really sucks in comparison. You have to pay bills and eventually take care of people other than just yourself. OK, now I’m crying again…
Well that was a bust. Here’s the one thing I know for sure: life constantly moves on and you have to try to keep up. We don’t have everything figured out about our futures and that’s OK with me.
Life after college is misunderstood, like Boo Radley and opossums. They seem creepy at first but have redeeming qualities in the end. There’s really nothing to be afraid of (although possums are terrifying).
I think I know what everybody wants and needs to hear right now: Everything will be OK. Everything might even be fantastic! At the very least there’s little chance that you’ll get struck by lightning and someone will eventually hire you because you’re a Trinity grad and that means a lot.
It has been an honor and a privilege to work (and play) with the fine people at the Trinitonian. I’m so happy/relieved/devastated that this is our last issue together. You’re all insane and I love you. Also want to give a shout out to Savannah – thanks for the table at Panchitos!
Kmart, thank you for answering the phone at midnight on Thursdays and not yelling at me. You’ve been my rock this semester and I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am.
Rebecca, dearest roommate, we’ve grown so close over the past four years that I’m not sure I can bare to see you move to California. Please have a cot ready for me when I break down and come live with you at Stanford. Your new roommates (blech) won’t mind. I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself when I can’t watch “Six Feet Under” with you every night anymore. My heart won’t go on. The day we have to say goodbye will be like losing a limb. That’s how much I love you: you’re going to be my phantom limb. I miss you already!
Bethany, I’m so glad that we were roommates our freshman year. Every once in a while I watch our “Office Social Experiment” video. We sure pulled one on Winn, didn’t we? Hearty chuckle. As far as I’m concerned, we’re family now. I visited your G-ma in England. And I think Daniel, Vivian and Monica have accepted me by now, right? Anyway, there are too many memories to recount in one column. You bring immense joy into my life and I’ll cry if you don’t visit me. Let’s all just move to London and live in the same flat.
Ryan, what can I say? I’ve loved you since the 10th grade and don’t plan on stopping. Don’t let all those posers who are getting engaged out there pressure you into anything (besides, you can’t afford the ring I want right now…Tiffany’s, babe.) Since I just wrote my vows for Becca and Bethany I suppose I owe you the same courtesy. You’re the love of my life and my best friend and I’m so excited for our future together. You’re going to do great things, don’t you worry your pretty head over it. Let’s move somewhere amazing and get famous!
Mom and Dad, thank you for supporting me through everything. I promise I’ll make you proud!
Thanks for the good times, Trinity. I’ll miss you.
Katie Bailey is editor of the Trinitonian and will be graduating with a degree in English.