Graduation is worth the wait

People keep asking me how it feels to be starting my last semester at the College of William and Mary. I wish I had a really good answer for this question, but I don’t. In fact, there are many times that I don’t feel like I’m in my last semester. I feel like I still have at least six more semesters to go and that I’ll never actually leave college. Yet, I’m ready to leave. I’m tired of undergraduate life and its stressors, and I’m ready, even though I’m scared, to be a member of the real world.

Waiting for graduation to come is hard. I feel like I’m constantly in limbo — waiting for graduation, waiting to hear back about summer jobs, waiting to hear about acceptance or denial to graduate school. Unfortunately, I’ve never been patient. I want to know what the future holds, and I want to know now, especially since people keep asking me what I’m doing after graduation and I can’t yet give them a straight answer.

But we cannot skip forward, and even if we could, we shouldn’t. I’d miss making a lot of good memories if I skipped forward to May. One time when I was little, I was really excited about a family vacation, and I mentioned to my grandma that I wished I could skip forward to the day of the trip. She lightly reprimanded me for my impatience, saying that I need to be thankful for each day because every time I wish for the distant future to happen now, I’m wishing my life away. She’d learned in her old age that each day we’re given on Earth is a blessing. Yes, some days are better than others and some days are really, really awful, but we hold the power to prevent our days from being wasted.

In my contemporary poetry class, we read Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art,” in which she writes, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” Becoming a master of losing time and people and things is easy, especially as a second semester senior, when I don’t feel like doing much of anything because I know I’ll be moving on soon. Nothing seems to be worth it, so it is easy to let the days go to waste. There’s a small part of me that’s scared to make new friends and deepen current friendships at college because I know college is almost over. It seems too late to join a new club because I’ll be gone in May. I’m afraid I may soon be losing everything I gained at the College.

However, I do believe that the impact seniors have on the College can last long after May 16 has come and gone. The memories we’ve created and education we’ve gained and friends we’ve made can continue if we value them now and continue to value them into the future. I still want graduation to come quickly; I’m ready for a new chapter in life. Yet, seeing that the page is not ready to be turned, I hope to make the most of the days I have left here.


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