Confusion Corner: Planning the final countdown
April 7, 2011
As my time at the College of William and Mary winds down, I find myself thinking increasingly in terms of “lasts.” Some of these lasts are sad and nostalgic: last Blowout, last King and Queens, last Wren 10, last cider walk. Others, however, are a bit more exciting: last exam, last paper, last class, last rainy Williamsburg day, last trip on the bricks. In the process, I have realized that there are a lot of things on this campus that I still need to do before graduation weekend.
Now, I want to be clear that the mindset of “lasts” is never a healthy one. I have been plagued with the curse of never living in the moment for my entire life. I am a great fan of countdowns and to-do lists, and I am always thinking a step ahead. When I was younger, I made enormous countdown calendars for our annual family vacation. They usually involved an intricate grid system that contained squares for the 70 or so days left until our date of departure. Every morning, I would vigorously cross off the day that had passed and gleefully exclaim, “43 days until we leave for Hawaii!” or whatever locale I was anticipating.
In the same vein, I think it is safe to say that I am addicted to Weather.com. The ultimate predictor of the days to come, it has to be in the top five of my most frequented websites. With a 10-day planner, I can form my to-do lists at least a week in advance. While this habit drives some people crazy — specifically my roommate — I am almost always properly dressed for the weather, which in Williamsburg is quite a feat in and of itself, and prepared for a monsoon, should one come our way. I sometimes think I know more about weather in the United States than about current events. Strangely, however, I have never considered meteorology as a career option. I like to think of being a weather nerd as more of a hobby.
Similarly, I have always loved advent calendars around Christmas time, especially the ones with pieces of chocolate inside. I think that these advent calendars are a very useful, if somewhat peculiar, metaphor for our last several weeks at school. Transport yourself back to your youth. During the month of December, every day leading up to Christmas is exhilarating and filled with holiday spirit. New presents appear under the tree, a different classic Christmas film is on ABC Family every night, Christmas cookies abound, eggnog replaces skim milk, and Christmas carols are ubiquitous. As you approach Christmas Day, however, the knowledge that soon all of the merriment will be over and replaced by the gloom of a dreary January creeps up on you. Christmas Day is exciting and wonderful, and then all of the decorations come down and you have a whole year until the next Christmas.
I think it is safe to say that the next six weeks will be filled with a very similar outlook. Every week will be filled with Senior Mug Nights, regular mug nights, festivities, formals, days at the beach, concerts, afternoons on the Sunken Garden, trivia nights and maybe a little work in Earl Gregg Swem Library thrown in for good measure. But as graduation day approaches, I hope that, for once, we can all live in the moment, enjoy our friends, springtime and this amazing College, and not think about the approach of post-graduation day gloom. After all, there are many fun countdowns to be had post-college too, right?
__Emily Walker is a Confusion Corner columnist and will begin to live in the moment as soon as the moment fits her plans. Contact Emily Walker at [email protected]__