So I’m graduating college in three days.
Actually, can you excuse me for a second? My brain keeps doing this stupid thing. If you’re up for a little peek inside my head right now, join me in the following parentheses. If not, skip ahead like nothing happened.
(AAAAAAAA! THE FUTURE! IT’S HERE! I’M IN TROUBLE! AAAAAAAAA! Ok. I think that was all I needed. Let’s do this.)
I have to finish a two-month internship over the summer, so I’m technically not DONE done, but it feels pretty graduation-y since I’ve finished my last undergrad class and I won’t be back next fall. My classmates and I have spent the last eight months worrying about this moment, with varying degrees of intensity. Last semester, we all joked about how we weren’t sure what we’d do after graduation but stepping into oncoming traffic was looking better and better ha ha. This semester, it’s not unusual to catch yourself thinking half-seriously about how quickly you can get to the nearest busy intersection.
At some point, though, it became too much work to worry about the future. I figure as long as I feel self-actualized and I don’t end up starving to death or sleeping on the streets under a copy of one of those “funny” newsletters bad breakfast diners keep on the tables, I’ll be alright. (I apologize if you write for one of those newsletters, but if you have to sleep under a paper, you probably don’t have time to giggle over why glue doesn’t stick to the inside of the bottle or why doctors call their businesses “practices”. I imagine you spend more time worrying about things like how to find food and avoid the pigeon-iest benches.) The point is, I’m not feeling anxious anymore. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to graduation. I’m even experiencing something like… happiness.
All of the sudden, however, everyone around me is kind of sad. I’m leaving behind a lot of nouns, and I love each and every one of those people, places, and things. I could write a really long list about the things I’ll miss about college, but I see it getting maudlin quickly, so instead I’m going to take an optimistic route and write about all the things I hate. That’s definitely how glass-half-full people work, right?
Things I Will Not Miss About College
1) Dating film majors, or people who want to be film majors, or people who aren’t film majors but who say things like “Man, I really should have been a film major”
I do not know why I attract/am attracted to these people. I only know that when they say “film” instead of “movie”, I roll my eyes, and this means they’re stuck in an endless eye-rolling loop during every conversation.
I won’t miss buying them, bubbling them in, or freaking out because the last six answers were all in the “C” column and there’s no way that can be right.
3) Trying to go to school AND do well at work AND have a personal life
I’m ok at school. I’m pretty good at work. I’m really, really bad at having or maintaining a personal life. There’s a chance I always will be, but I’m fervently hoping I’m spreading myself too thin and things will improve when I don’t have to take 30,000 pictures every week for my photojournalism class.
4) Photojournalism class.
See above re: 30,000 pictures per week. (It’s only kind of an exaggeration.)
5) Dorm room decor
There are a lot of parts of my room I like, including my pirate flag and my Darth Vader voice changer, but there are also things I put on my walls because I felt obligated to fill white space. There’s a strand of Christmas lights around my ceiling that have been broken since October, and a badly-Photoshopped poster featuring Ke$ha in her underwear behind my door. I don’t even like Ke$ha. I don’t know how college graduates decorate their rooms, but I have to assume their Christmas lights work and they like the pop stars on their posters.
6) Keeping fish as pets
I’ve pet-sat many a fish in the last four years, and I’ve hated them all. They have attitude problems, they’re super boring, and they die faster than a cheap Valentine’s day bouquet. Sometimes they play mind games with you, like holding still, upside down, for funsies. As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t pet it, it’s not a pet. Why would you even want to hang out with something that indifferent to your existence? Some dogs, cats, and even birds (which descended from dinosaurs!) will call 911 if you’re injured. Fish, which do not have dinosaur ancestors, will leave you to die without a second glance.
7) Acoustic guitar guys
I hate you, acoustic guitar guys. I hate you so much. I hate it when you bring your guitar to parties. I hate it when you sit outside the building I live in and play Coldplay songs to attract girls. I hate it when playing Coldplay songs to attract girls actually works, because it reinforces your behavior. I’m all for artistic expression, and there are a few professional acoustic guitar guys at whom even I would throw my underwear (Looking at you, Tom Petty. Don’t judge.), but we have to compromise. If you’ll find somewhere else to practice being a chick magnet, I’ll stop telling girls you have communicable diseases. See? We all win!
It’s been real, college, and it’s been fun. Parts have even been real fun. So much of you was nice, in fact, I’m a little bit worried I’m going to tear up at the end, and we all know how that ends. I’ll have to develop an anti-tear mantra. On Saturday morning, I’m going to be the girl in the cap and gown muttering, “Scantrons, fish, acoustic guitars…” while I smile and shake the school president’s hand. Nothing weird about that.