During the spring semester of my junior year about a year ago, it occurred to me that I was signing up for my last year on campus housing and my last fall semester. It was weird knowing that a year later I would be looking for jobs and real housing. Here I am, spring semester of my senior year, about to go on my last Spring Break.
I am well aware of the end. I’ve always been someone who has countdowns on their phone so I know exactly how much longer I have. A year ago, as my roommate and I were going into our last week of the spring semester and school year, I kept saying “this is our last time doing ___. This is the last time for ____.” It drove her crazy (sorry, Jenna) but guess which one of us was prepared for the end of the semester and moving home? Me. It could be considered an obnoxious habit, but that's how I prepare myself.
Moving into my campus apartment for my senior year, it was weird knowing I would never live anywhere else on campus. These would be my last college roommates. The last laundry room. My last college home. As the fall semester went on, it was more of the beginning of the end. I wrote my senior thesis for my major and knew that was the end of the worst part of being a History major (30-40 pages is no joke). I went to my last Lip Sync Competition and hosted my last Big-Ash Bonfire. I went to my last Homecoming events as a student. Eventually I took my last fall finals ever and then went home for my last Winter Break.
Coming back to college in January, I really felt the beginning of the end. Every time something happens I wonder “Is this the last time?” Is this the last late-night IHOP run? Is this the last time we’ll go to the river?" These really are my last classes, at least as an undergrad. These are my last papers. I can’t say I will miss lit reviews or source analysis papers, but they are the last ones I will have to do. These are my last tests. Last time having to get “participation credit” which is something I’ve always despised so I’m not sorry to see it go. I’m about to go on my last Spring Break. I’ll be spending it on my last Alternative Spring Break, building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Florida, as I have every Spring Break for three years now.
Although my ever-anxious brain is constantly reminding me that things are happening for the last time, my friends so kindly often remind me as well. I transferred in as a sophomore to my current college after spending my freshman year as community college. I chose to live in a freshman hall instead of an upperclassmen hall which means a lot of my friends are a year younger than me. They aren’t worried about graduation coming up in two months or finding a job and a new place to live within those two months. One of my best friends keeps saying “I’m gonna miss you when you’re not here next year,” which is simultaneously sweet to hear someone will miss me, but it’s also a stressful reminder that my time is limited.
Because I know it’s the beginning of the end, or perhaps the end of the beginning, I try to do as much as I can. I go to every event I can, knowing it’s the last time. I missed the last Disney trivia night which was a bummer because I’ll never get to show off my unnecessary amount of Disney knowledge anywhere else. I try to hang out with all of my friends and have fun while I can. I skip out on sleep because I want to be with friends and do things with them, even if it means going to bed after 3am because I still need to finish homework after hanging out with them. I can’t make up for memories I miss out on, but I can probably catch up on sleep later on. Or, I’ll just sleep when I’m dead, as they say.
I know the end is coming. There aren’t enough words to express how much I am going to miss this university, the people, the events, and everything I do here. Sometimes I wish that I had been here for my freshman year too, but that would have changed everything. As I come to the end of my undergrad, I really appreciate my time here. The other day I was able to actually spend some time walking down Campus Walk without being in a rush. I felt like it was the first time in forever that I could actually look around and appreciate the campus. I sat outside on a bench and enjoyed the abnormally warm weather and unusual amount of time I had to get to my next class. It’s the little moments. And I intend on enjoying every moment I have left, big or little.