I have a checklist on my fridge with all of my final assignments, performances and projects on it. I made it in a moment of panic–I needed to be able to see the finish line, to have a tangible sense of what was left. Reducing the end of my college career to a list of papers I don’t necessarily care about was a little depressing. The list, however, became more of a daily reality check than a finish line. As it turns out, I feel more like I’m at a pause than at the end.
Graduation doesn’t feel like the end, even when I visualize it. I’ve spent so much time thinking about the day itself that it’s become a marker. May 22 is a box that, once checked, will symbolize the next phase.
Tomorrow, I’ll check off the “Issue 12” box. I’ll do so with a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of satisfaction that I’ve been a part of so many issues of this paper. While most of my time has been spent on grammar, contributing to a publication that starts from scratch every two weeks and grows into a completely unique and immortalized public record means there is very real and very tangible evidence that I learned and I contributed.
So, on May 22, I’ll take a pause. I’ll think about things I’ll miss: the couch in the Cummings lobby, soup and bread, the Arbo, living within four minutes of all my friends, the Voice. My checklist may not symbolize all this, but it would have been difficult to sum up my four years here on something small enough to hang on the fridge. I don’t yet have plans for May 23, but I’m excited to see what life is like once I press play again.