As I sit down to write this piece, probably the last I’ll ever publish in the Anchor, I’m feeling a mixture of emotions. I’m sure many other seniors have been feeling that internal churning, too. On top of that, I’m listening to Liza Anne’s 2018 album “Fine but Dying,” which is almost too aptly titled for what I’m writing. So what does it feel like to be only three weeks away from graduating? The predominant emotion I have is a nervous excitement, the kind that I felt at the edge of a massive rock on the side of a mountain in Colorado. There’s a breathtaking view – miles of valleys extending upward toward majestic cliffs – but there’s still this drop right in front of me. I was talking to a professor recently, and she was saying that she’s noticed two different views on graduation from seniors.
Either we’re focused on the lush valleys ahead – the job we’re trying to get or that ring-byspring marriage that’s coming up – or we’re focused on the precipice two feet in front of us. Those of us in the second group are clinging onto these final days, trying to collect all of our memories before we have to leave. The real challenge is being able to see and appreciate the path we took to get here, the jump we’re about to make and the beautiful future ahead all at the same time. I won’t pretend to have it all figured out when it comes to processing a change as big as this, since I’m only now going through it for the first time. Still, I’ll tell you how I’m attempting to cope. Thanks to my major, I’ve gotten even better at using writing to process anything and everything that’s happened in my life. While I don’t journal, per se, my creative writing often ends up helping me understand what’s going on around and within me. Both creative writing and music have been a kind of therapy for me, and I often find myself being more creative during times of stress. Maybe your therapy is running, spending time with friends or going out to the beach.
Even if you’re not about to graduate like I am, don’t quit your therapy as the semester is coming to a close. This is what keeps you present and mindful. While it might sound a little morbid, each end of a season of our lives is a kind of death. It’s inevitable that things will come to an end, but we have the chance to approach these endings thoughtfully and peacefully. It’s healthy to grieve the end of something, and I’m allowing myself to do that. As I come to the end of my time at Hope, I remind myself that I was fortunate enough to have experienced this trek, with all of its adventure. I’ll revisit these trails in my memory.
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