Graying by graduation

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March 14, 2008

9:28 AM

A note to those who schedule spring break: Never overlap daylight savings time with the return to campus. The return from vacation is startling enough and, on top of that, we lose an hour of sleep. It may be Friday, but I’m still recovering. With six weeks left in the semester, it is crunch time and literally every minute counts.

p. Many seniors have already picked up their caps and gowns, a process that took about 30 minutes at the Grad Fair. Honors candidates are working furiously on their theses. Acceptance and rejection letters are coming in from graduate schools, followed by days of depressed or elated drinking. Time is of the essence.
Already, restaurants and hotels are booked for graduation weekend. Summer program deadlines are drawing near and finals are eking ever closer. This does not feel like senior spring.

p. Even my procrastination is stressful. When I didn’t want to write this column, I applied for jobs instead. When I don’t want to write my thesis, I do reading. What’s wrong with me? I thought I was supposed to enjoy my senior spring. Instead of lying in bed with a wretched hangover every day, I’m tossing and turning with stress dreams and up by 8 a.m.

p. Truth be told, this column was a burden to write this week. Think of how great I could have been with an extra hour to finesse my turn of phrase. Alas, this is what we get. This mediocre column is the symbol of my loss of time. I am in the winter of my Confusion Corner existence.

p. I feel a bit like the lone salmon swimming against the current of time, perhaps getting smacked into a boulder or two. I hurt my hip yesterday, the most geriatric of injuries. What is happening? Am I so pressed for time that it is actually beginning to speed up? Am I prematurely aging? I do have a gray hair, and am awfully crotchety lately.

p. I sometimes think that the only way to beat these feelings of impotence is with a short and friendly coma. I want about two weeks of supreme rest while my body rehabilitates and my mind empties. All of my course work was finished last semester, I can still graduate — though perhaps not with any honors, though that might happen coma aside — nobody will blame me for being in a coma, and I get to see the outpouring of support from my friends and family. It’s a little like Huck Finn at his own funeral, so it could almost be an independent study.

p. Additionally, nothing says master-cleanse like a feeding tube and a saline drip — I’d emerge as skinny and sickly as an Olsen twin.

p. This is all beside the point. I guess I’m going a little crazy with the idea of leaving in six weeks. How will I manage without semesters, breaks, tests and Pint Night? The preparations for adulthood are staggering. I can’t even take care of my parents for graduation weekend; how am I going to learn to get a whole life together? Where am I living next year? What happens when my boyfriend (current or otherwise) wants me to move in? Will I have enough money to feed myself? I’m sure the answers to these questions are self-evident and stupid, but in the constant rush of senior year they constantly play over and over in my head.

p. Somehow even though I don’t have time to think about work or writing or this column, I find the time to worry — sometimes about nothing in particular. The rest of the semester will be a bit of a task. I don’t think I’ll ever be fully ready to leave, even with all of the extra hours in the world.

p. __Charlotte Savino is a Confusion Corner columnist. She spends her free time searching for gray hairs.__

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