I can’t let myself go my final semester at Whitman without:
1. Spending time with old friends and making new ones.
I will never have another experience like being an undergraduate college student at Whitman. This has been an experience I will remember for the rest of my life and the friendships and connections I’ve made at Whitman won’t fade quickly, the way that some of my close high school friendships have gradually dwindled over the years. I have the best friends. They have been there for me through the lows and highs. They are the ones I Skyped with over summers when I was homesick for Whitman. They are the ones that I went on adventures with and stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning talking to. I want to take advantage of these last few months by spending as much time as possible with these amazing people who have shaped my life. I want them to know how much they’ve meant to me and how much I will miss them when we all head off to our adult lives.
2. Staying up all night, going to the wheatfields at sunrise, and then eating breakfast at Clarette’s.
My freshman year I stayed up all night, went to the wheatfields at 5:30am to watch the sunrise, and ate breakfast at 6am at Clarette’s with two other freshmen. It was the day before graduation and we groggily watched the procession of seniors file past, in awe of their maturity and accomplishments. Now we are those seniors. While it probably would be unwise to do this same thing the night before graduation – I imagine struggling not to yawn while talking to parents at all the grad parties – I do want to reenact this freshman year adventure. Maybe we’ll get a whole group to do it. Maybe the last night of classes. Or the last day of finals. Or the first night of Camp Whitman. Or the day after graduation. There’s a feeling you get, seeing the first light of day after hours of darkness, laughing and eating and running around to stay awake. It’s the fact that instead of wasting hours asleep and alone, you chose to spend those hours with your friends, feeling dangerous and crazy, getting a few more memories in the process. I want to make more memories and reflect on the ones we’ve had, while sitting over a steaming plate of eggs and pumpkin pancakes.
3. Thanking all the professors who’ve had an impact during my time at Whitman.
My professors have meant so much to me at Whitman. They are the ones who have been there as I struggled to grasp concepts, break through writer’s block, and go deeper and think harder than I’ve ever done before. They sat with me for hours talking about classes, books, concepts, and thesis. They’ve edited my papers, challenged my opinions, given me advice, and generally stopped me before I hit the bottom. And they aren’t just the professors in my major, but professors I’ve had over the years: there was the English professor my freshman year who terrified me but helped me improve my writing in ways beyond what I thought I could improve; there was the introductory Sociology professor who was the reason I chose to major in Sociology because I actually wanted to have her life; there was the Spanish professor who was strict and demanding, but who would sit and go over ideas with you for as long as you needed; there was the awkward Art History professor who pushed you to think beyond the surface and explore something new and different; and of course there is my major and thesis adviser who has sat with me for hours as I complained, worried, and struggled, always being supportive and providing feedback and encouragement when I needed it. I cannot express fully how thankful I am to all of them, but I am sure going to try.
4. Appreciating every experience, even being in the library until 3am trying to finish my thesis.
This last semester will be hard. I have a lot on my plate and a lot I need to get done before graduation. But every moment is special. Every moment is meaningful. Every moment is an opportunity for growth and for memories and for excitement. I hope I do not forget to take advantage of and appreciate every moment I have before I have to say good bye to this wonderful place that I have called home for the past few years.