As we get closer and closer to the last day of classes — inevitable for seniors and highly anticipated for the rest of the school — everything is winding down. Final concerts are flooding the Wren building, final meetings are being re-scheduled, final reception dinners are honoring everyone’s hard work, and final all-nighters are being pulled.
For the seniors, every movement in the next couple of weeks is suddenly transformed from an end of the year routine into a monumental “last”: the last class, the last essay, the last exam, the last cup of coffee from the Grind, the last meal swipe. Each mundane task is suddenly extremely important and must be completed with a certain degree of ceremony as we very slowly start saying goodbye to the world we have come to know and love over the past four years.
This, for instance, is my last Confusion Corner column, and I, very ceremoniously, have put off writing it until the last possible second when I also have other homework to do, because it’s a kind of tradition at this point. And who am I to break with tradition so late in the game?
While we seniors go around completing mundane tasks with a mark of finality, an inevitable nostalgia follows our every move. Last meal swipe — remember that time our freshman year we sat at the Commons Dining Hall that one Saturday for three hours, just talking, because we didn’t really have anything else to do? Remember that time I ran into the tree in front of our dorm? Remember that time we saved a study room in Earl Gregg Swem Library for all of finals? Those were the good old times. Now we’re old and, employed or unemployed, being kicked out of this safe bubble and thrown into a big scary world.
With the combination of nostalgia and conclusion following every move we make until graduation, the “how-will-this-campus-go-on-without-me?” syndrome sets in. They can’t make me graduate. Who will sit at the Grind for too many hours every week? Who will run this club or schedule that meeting? Who will write your rambling, mildly funny columns every other week? I don’t know. No one can do it as well as I can. They need me to stay.
That might be the worst part about this whole graduating thing — the fact that you feel so attached, so important, so part of everything here, and next year it’s just over. You’ve moved on to the next part of your life, and so will the College of William and Mary. A new class of seniors will feel just as important and nostalgic as we do right now, and the whole ritual starts all over again. We’ve made this amount of difference, done these many things, and now we are going to carry these experiences and relationships with us into the next part of our lives. So will the four years of students below us, and the four after that. It’s a beautiful and extremely strange ritual we are completing, and we only have a few more weeks to be a part of it.
So, in the spirit of finality, go ahead and be nostalgic about turning in your last exam and swiping your last coffee from Mews. In a weak moment of seriousness, thanks for reading my random thoughts. There are not many places you get the chance to ramble for 500 words to the rest of the school every other week (except for the internet), and I really appreciate it.
Ellie Kaufman is a Confusion Corner columnist and she can’t imagine how this column will go on without her.