Things are different now than they were a year ago, a semester ago, a couple of months ago. People’s questions about my post-grad plans now seem less like curious inquiries and more like aggressive accusations. I’ve started to wonder how often””if ever””I’ll see my dearest friends after we graduate. I’ve even started to wonder who among us seniors even feels entirely OK about graduating. Don’t get me wrong; my senior year has been incredible in a number of ways, and yours will be, too. The food I cook for myself off campus (in a real kitchen!) tastes like heavenly nectar compared to campus dining. My relationships with professors, fellow students and the city of San Antonio now seem more fulfilling than ever before. But along with all that comes a lurking sadness, anxiety, and confusion. The truth is, I’m about to leave a piece of my soul here, and I won’t be able to come back and get it. For some, accepting this may be easy. But for the rest of us, these feelings are real and legitimate. I’m not saying that I can’t””that you can’t””be happy as a Trinity senior and then peacefully move on when it’s over. Rather, I’m simply offering my own experience as a word of caution because I, under the pretense of maturity and wise detachment, have been denying and repressing these emotional realities. But you shouldn’t. There’s a kind of freedom in coming to terms with the complicated emotions that may creep up on you when you’re a senior, even in moments when those emotions overwhelm you. This freedom may allow you to embrace your friends just a little longer and harder than before, to revel in a lengthy discussion with your professor, to recall that terrible kegger you probably should have skipped, to talk openly with those close to you about all the laughing, loving, crying, hating, the relentless working and shameless partying, that you did in this place. Recognizing that these feelings exist will help you begin to process all that glorious, complicated and shitty stuff. Don’t be afraid of the Senior Weirdness, or the feelings it brings””it’ll help you realize that it’s time to move on. It’ll help you understand that you belonged, but belong no more. And it’ll help you realize why that is a very good thing.
Isaiah Ellis is graduating with a bachelor of arts in religion and a minor in urban studies.