pomp and circumstance

My dorm room is half empty. It’s mostly quiet: there’s chatter outside, the occasional rumble of cart and dolly wheels smacking on the cracks in the pavement. It hasn’t quite hit me yet: most of my belongings are in a car hurtling back toward the place I call home, but the little personal touches in this closet of a doom room are still here, so it doesn’t feel quite detached as it should be. My Scottish flags are still on the walls—St. Andrew’s cross hanging between small movie posters (for Serenity and Raiders of the Lost Ark) and cards from my twenty-first birthday. The Lion Rampant of Scotland is on the opposite wall, hanging over my bed (which is currently serving its purpose as a table more so than a bed). A drawing of Star that is three years old now is next to it.

My drawings are still on the door and the post-it notes are still scattered around my desk. It’s more spacious without the small appliances, sure, but there are still roots left, at least for this moment. I’ll have to dig them up myself tonight when I pack the rest of it.

It’s been a wild ride, these last four years. I’m not sure how else to put it. There’s been some ups and some downs, some extremes. But so much of what happened here has defined who I am today. The last semester feels like it’s ages away, and yet is was barely six months since I finished my thesis. I don’t think I ever even imagined the things I would do when I was first stepping foot on this campus.

I’ve made some really important changes in my life here. I’ve met some of my best friends, who have helped me through the good times and the bad. Even though we’re graduating, even though things are changing, I’m with these nerds to the end, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve had professors who have challenged me and help me grow. I’ve been through situations and come out stronger because of them. I wouldn’t trade any of it.

Time and change ebbs and flows. Right now it’s rushing, like a white water rapid and I’m struggling to stay on the raft. I don’t have a job lined up for after graduation. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to be doing in the next month. And it’s terrifying and exciting all bundled into one. But the trick is, I’m not the only one holding on. It may be cheesy to think that we’re all in the same boat, but it means we’re not alone, and we’ll have each other to get through the bumps and waves and calm moments.

I’ve been struggling this whole semester with who I am, or who I want to be. I’m not very vocal about politics or ethics because I’m a very inward person in that respect: too often I try to take the whole world on my shoulders and I collapse. I’ve been very anxious and craving validation, not only in my work, but even in my interests, and it’s driving me up a wall. So much is changing, becoming unstable, that I’ve been feeling the need for someone to tell me that one thing or another is “right”, even though no such thing exists.

You can’t change everything, not all at once at least. It’s a long, slow process, and it sucks, but if you focus on the little things, sometimes that helps more than feeling lost and frustrated trying to push a boulder up a mountain all on your own.

So I’m just focusing on this month. I’m graduating on Saturday. I’m going to a cool live show next week. I’m going on vacation with a bunch of amazing friends. Maybe somewhere in there I’ll secure some sort of employment. But all I can worry about now is what’s immediately in front of me. Those are the only things I can affect.

This is a big change in my life, and I’ve never dealt with change well. But it’ll all work out, somehow, in the end. And I’ll have amazing friends to figure it all out with along the way. We may think we’re heading to point B, but life has a funny way of flipping everything on its head, and before we know it, we’ll be miles past point Z.

But that’ll be ok. The less-beaten path is more fun, anyway.