I remember having this feeling right before I graduated high school. It was a feeling of sadness because I was leaving high school, which I was told were the best four years of my life. I was leaving the comfort of having teachers breathing down my neck about assignments and I was leaving the people that I had known since Kindergarten. I was saddened because I was growing up and becoming this thing they call an adult and I wasn't sure how I felt about this thing called adulthood and life. But I was mostly sad and a little scared mixed with some excitement.
I have found myself in this mix of emotions again as I am preparing to graduate in May from college. Which, I did not realize until just recently, is quite literally just around the corner. In May I will be leaving the comfort zone of school to go out into the world with the knowledge I have gained over the past four some odd years and put my knowledge to use in a different way than I ever have before.
As I was realizing all of this the other night in my Poetry and Poetics class I was also struck with this thought: What am I if I'm not a student anymore?
The question struck me pretty profoundly when I allowed it to toss over and over again in my mind. What an excellent question. What am I if I'm not a student anymore? What will I be when I don't have a test to study for or a paper to write? What will I do with my time when I don't have a syllabus telling me what to do every day of every week? All of these thoughts began crashing down on me as I sat in my desk, surrounded by familiar faces that I have come to know and call friend over the past few years.
I began to miss the classroom that I was sitting in. Which doesn't make any sense because I was sitting there in that moment. But I became sad when I thought of the day when I couldn't sit in this classroom anymore and take notes or listen to lectures or discuss the significance of the red wheel barrow. The four walls of a classroom has been my home for the past four years now, and even way before then if you count the time I spent in the classroom as a grade school student, then a middle school student, then a high school student. But the walls of the classrooms that I have spent a vast majority of my time in over the past four years, and more specifically the past three years at Athens State, has become part of my daily routine. Going to class and talking about how a novel made me question things in a new light is a space that makes sense to me. It is a space that I'm best in. I get that space. I prosper in that space. What space will I have when I am no longer a student?
What will I be in June 2017 when I am not a student anymore? What will my identity be then? Where will I go? Who will I become? These are the questions that I hope to answer soon but that I am almost too afraid to know the answer to.
What will you be when you're not a student anymore?