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The Beginning of the End

 

Today was my last first day of school at UE. It was weird. 

I know that this wasn't my last first day of school EVER, what with graduate school and all, and what more, that it was only the first day of a new semester, not the school year, but with entirely new classes and a long break, it might as well have been. I started three of my five new classes today, and I am so excited for them all. Jane Austen, English Novels and Norse Mythology, with two of the most incredible professors I have ever had? Pretty amazing. And I've still got two more new classes tomorrow, my senior seminar in immigrant literature and a German lit class, so I guess there's still that.

But it was still weird. Weird to walk into Hyde Hall, where I have been so many times before, and choose my seat in each classroom for the last time (front row, right of center, s'il vous plait). Weird to write down the assignments for the whole semester in my planner (a little obsessive, I know), and see "GRADUATION!" written in big letters on May 10th. Weird to look at my professors and my classmates, some of whom I have come to know quite well, and realize that, after May, I'll see very few of them ever again. And really, really weird to try and picture whatever lies in that hazy grey space after this summer. 

In a sense, I'm ready to graduate. UE has been amazing, but it's time to move on; I've taken almost every lit class we offer! And I cannot wait to encounter new things and people and ideas in grad school, assuming one will take me. And I am so excited to see more of the world, to get a chance to live somewhere new and different and to learn - all of that is so exciting.

But I'm going to miss coming here every term and having amazing classes with professors I really care about. I'm going to miss my friends, with whom I have become very close over the four years. I'm even going to miss my crappy apartment, with its perpetual toilet problems and microscopic kitchen. And don't even get me started about how hard it is going to be to have to leave behind my roommate, my very close friend of two years, who knows and understands me better than I could ever have hoped for. 

Being in class today made it really hit home - whether I'm ready or not, this is it. I'm going to try and spend this semester not looking too far ahead, but enjoying every damn minute. I can't afford to waste a single one. 

Comments

Good one, Gina! You awaken my memories of being in your shoes--at UE, in Hyde Hall, but in mid-January 1969. Grad school lay ahead, but for the the moment THIS was it. Enjoy!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:17 PM by Patti Lodato
Gina -- it has been many years since the last term of my senior year in college, but your posting made it seem like yesterday! It was, in a word, bittersweet, and I still remember how I struggled with the excitement of the future and the sadness of leaving friends, professors, and the campus in general. It's especially gratifying to hear how much your professors have valued you -- and you have valued them. I think you'll find that UE has prepared you very well for a terrific future. Best of luck for a great final semester.  
 
President Kazee
Posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 9:47 AM by Tom Kazee
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