April 22, 2013 by kmwelden
…You, Kaitlyn Marie, are graduating soon. Your days of blaming every mishap on the fact that you are “a college student” are finite. Your days as a Holy City resident are numbered. 19 days, to be precise. When picking out a gallon of milk last week, I noted to Kara how, “This milk expires in our graduation month.” Despite that, though, I haven’t really given much thought to my impending graduation until today. Then, as soon as I stepped foot outside of my house (it wasn’t until about 1:30), the universe began just hurling signs at me:
1. It’s my last day of Sociology of Peace class. Usually, I don’t attend this class on Mondays (there isn’t an attendance policy and I kind of hate going anyway), but I thought that I should end the semester on a strong foot and go. If you’ve never been to Charleston, it’s infamous for its horribly uneven cobblestone streets. Some people argue that they have charm, but really, no one looks charming when they are hurtling towards the stone ground after tripping. Which I have done. Many times. Regardless, today I was ambling to class and a professor in heels almost took a complete face plant in front of me. She played it off really well in with a “whoooopsie,” as she wobbled her arms but regained her balance on her high heels. She turned and looked to see if anyone had seen her, and I was there. “Gotta love Charleston, right?” she said.
And maybe I was just feeling nostalgic but yeah, I thought when I was walking up the stairs to class right after that, you do have to love Charleston. Andrew and I went on a Pirate-Ghost Tour this weekend like tourists, and it was so nice to walk around this beautiful city and gawk at just how pretty and cool it is (pretty and cool… super eloquent adjective choices, but so appropriate). I won’t get to call this place my home much longer, and that’s a really strange feeling.
2. I walked by the Cistern, only to find that they are making even more progress on the stage. The stage they’re building over the Cistern. If that doesn’t make sense because you don’t live in Charleston, let me repeat myself… the stage is being built over the Cistern. The end is nigh, my friends! It means that when they’re done building that stage, I’m going to walk across it. And graduate into the real world.
3. According to my planner, in one week’s time, all of my assignments will be turned in. All of my exams will be taken. I’ll literally be… done. Like…WHAT is that. Why is that allowed? Didn’t anyone ever tell you guys that I’ve never been without school in my whole life? What will I do when I’m no longer a student in the educational system? Not to mention that…
4. The day after that, I’m flying to Denver with Andrew to find a PLACE TO LIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. What? Why is THAT allowed either? I occasionally still have to Google about how to do laundry properly… after all this time, I still forget. I have never owned an iron. Once, not as long ago as you might think, I put Dawn in the dishwasher and suds-ed my entire kitchen. On multiple occasions, I have burnt rice.
This just isn’t a girl that’s prepared to live thousands of miles away from home! But it’s kind of occurring to me that these are the exact same concerns that I was having four years ago when I was graduating from high school. I sometimes like to think that I have matured so much and that I have nothing in common with the 18-year-old version of me (she was so involved! She listened to so much My Chemical Romance!), but really, we are still so similar. I gave a speech at my high school graduation, and I think it was a really opportune time for me to watch this again. In a sense, it’s like I’m watching my high school self give a speech to my college self… which probably sounds a lot more meta than I mean for it too. Regardless, here is me as an 18-year-old, full of hopes and dreams, trying to convince myself (and a room full of graduates) that we were prepared for the future: I still feel the same sort of sick combination of boundless optimism and impending dread.
The moral of the story is, it looks like that girl figured it out (ie: Four years later, I’m still alive and both felony & scurvy free, though it was sort of touch and go for awhile), and I think I’ll figure this new thing out, too.