The last few days I’ve spent on campus have been strange. People have been stopping me in the halls and on the streets to say “Don’t worry, we’ll stay in touch!” or “I’m really gonna miss you when you go!” I respond in kind and tell them my plans, but all the while I’m thinking “I’m not really going anywhere, am I?” Though I know logically that they’re right, it just doesn’t feel real.
This coming Friday I’m going to become a college graduate.
I’ve loved my time here at Winona State. I’ve met incredible friends, traveled to some amazing places and somehow managed to do some learning in my free-time. It’s strange to think that I’m going to have to move on from this place that has been my home for four (incredibly busy) years.
When I think of the next year I still picture myself here, sitting on the couches on third floor Minne and looking down over the campus that has given me so much.
I picture myself standing and waving frantically to my friends down below who either wave back or duck their heads in embarrassment (much to my delight.) I picture myself waking up early so I can walk to campus in the fog and join some friends at Mugby for brunch. And I picture myself making stupid jokes to my professors who roll their eyes but secretly think I’m hilarious (seriously, I’m sure they totally do).
But I know that when the summer starts in a week there will be a flurry of activity, a lot of goodbyes that don’t feel quite real and then silence.
That silence, that unknown future is what frightens me the most. However, at the same time, I feel as though I’ve done everything I can to be ready for the future. I’ve started applying to jobs and I know that in a few years I’m going back to school to get my masters in library science.
I know I’m capable, and I’m confident in my ability to succeed, but I also know that before anything else it’s gonna be lonely.
So here’s my message to the people I love here, both the ones staying and my fellow graduates who are all heading in different directions.
It ain’t over till it’s over. This isn’t goodbye; it’s just see you later. You’ll always be with me and yada yada every other cliché in the book. But hey, even if the words are old the sentiment is real.
I’ll see you guys on the other side. And thanks WSU. It’s been a wild ride.
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