Growing up is hard to do

This is my fifth attempt at writing a closing post about undergrad.

And I just can’t.

Literally, cannot.

It’s still too fresh and too close and too much a part of my life. I’m not yet sure how to cleave myself away from this place and into graduate school. Not. Computing.

It’s The End…?
We had a ‘Senior Send Off’/’Shag Dance’ party at The Glendie last night, and it was one of the most fun parties I’ve been to. So much good music with dear, familiar faces. But then the music ended, the champagne and food were cleared away and the house emptied, and I was hit by the realization that college is over.

I’m not going to lie, there were tears.

But I was sustained by the rich taste of memories (which allowed me to get some sleep):

Blue & White. Cornerstone. Carowinds. Maple View. 13.1. The Glendie. YoPo. Baking Extravaganzas. Late Nights. Early Mornings. Football Games. Basketball Championships. Obama. Jimmy Fallon. Wilson Library (also Davis and the UL). Hat Game. Sangria. TopO. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. Philippians. Dischipleship. Running. Yoga. Kvetching Board. Lenoir. Sunrise Biscuits. Honor Court. Southern Rail. Lennie Rosenbluth. Joyner. Baseball Games. Cookouts.

There are more — too many to go on here. On one hand, I feel deeply sad about all the the things I’ve failed to do these past four years. But of “all the things I failed to do,” not one of them has anything to do with my GPA or the quality of my paper writing or even the hours I put into studying.

All of them have to do with people and relationships.

Because, I’m realizing, relationships are what will last when all of these experiences are over.

Binding Us To This Place
Those nights I spent studying New Testament and memorizing Speech Anatomy in Davis? I laugh now because I’ve already forgotten about 75% of the stuff that I learned (Or, if we’re being honest, 99.9% of that stuff). This is what I’m realizing about undergrad:

Most regrets (there are few, but some) center around just not investing more fully in my friends’ lives and not spending more time getting to know all the amazing — creative, loving, open-hearted, critical, intelligent, adventurous — people here at Carolina. Whatever Charles Kuralt might say, I know that it’s relationships which bind us to this place unlike any other. They’re so tightly entwined around my memories.

Realizing I’ll lose a lot of the relationships I’ve made  makes me teary-eyed: they’re the things I don’t want to lose; they’re what I want to cling to even more tightly.

But I also know it’s time for us to grow up and move on.  And that means, you have to let many of these go.
…right?

Moving On
It’s bittersweet and (honestly) really hard to think about. I’m not sure what’ll happen to my relationships after we all leave this place. My memory of phonemes and morphemes and proper syntax structure is quickly fading (And thankfully so — that stuff was confusing!). But I hope to never say the same about my memory of people at Carolina. I have yet to meet someone I didn’t find fascinating (even if i didn’t want to be their friend).

The Post That Never Ends
Well, this is abrupt, but I have no saccharine ending … yet?
So, this is it for now.

Loving this place,
Shannon

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1 Comment

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One response to “Growing up is hard to do

  1. I am glad to hear that you had such a great time here. I think you are right, the most important thing about college is to allow yourself to be immersed in the experiences and people around you. Those are what will really matter in the real world. All the best as you enter grad school, as well. I’m sure we will hear many more fascinating tales from you.

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