The end of the semester is quickly approaching for many college students and for me, so is the end of my undergraduate career. As I sit here in a coffee shop, working on papers and counting down the days until graduation, I find myself struggling to stay present. Times of transition are always hard as I balance feelings of sadness and fear of leaving the familiar with excitement and anticipation for the new and unknown.
When I walk across that graduation stage on May 15th, despite looking, and most likely, feeling the same, I am well-aware that I will no longer be able to able to live in the gray area of being somewhere between dependent child and independent adult. It’s a scary, and at the same time, exhilarating thought to think of moving into an apartment in a new city, managing my own finances, and finding new friends and favorite hang-outs.
Despite the allure of living in a state of anticipation for things yet to come, my present goal, or rather, challenge, is to reclaim the energy I’m spending on thinking of the future and redirect it towards making the most of my time left at Macalester. In this spirit, here are five things that beginning today, I will do before I graduate:
Watch the sunset over the Mississippi River.
Walking along the river, watching the sunset on the bluffs near the river’s edge, listening to the birds sing, and seeing the buds turn into blossoms are just some of the experiences that I have had at the river. Before I leave, I want to reconnect with this place and relive these experiences anew.
Experience the Twin Cities.
Despite having a plethora of museums, art galleries, and artisan workshops nearby, I rarely make the time to see and experience all that the Twin Cities have to offer. Macalester’s urban location was one of the reasons I chose to come here. Before I leave, I want to make the most of the city life.
Eat cheesecake at Café Latte.
Birthdays, reunions with friends and family members, and major life events have all been celebrated with cheesecake at this local restaurant and bakery. The vanilla cheesecake is both a sweet treat and a symbol of memories shared with other loved ones in other times. Before I leave, I want to make one more memory here.
Reconnect with a forgotten friend.
In the midst of papers and projects, I have lost contact with many friends from my first-year of college. My goal is to reconnect with at least one of these friends before graduation.
Write thank you notes.
Since arriving at Macalester, I have blessed to have wonderful role models, mentors, and friends. There are so many people who have given me the space to explore who I am, the support to pursue my passions, and the strength to reimagine the world. Too often, I don’t take the time to thank these people for who they are and what they have done. Before I graduate, I want to say “thank you” to these individuals.
Two weeks left, and millions of moments left to live and experience. As I prepare for transition, I hope to be able to find peace and presence in this time and place. Friends, cheesecake, and a walk along the Mississippi River are just a few of the ways in which I hope to experience and re-recognize the richness of my life.
-submitted April 2010 -