As I settle down for my last night in a dorm room, the same dorm room I’ve lived in all four years of college, I’ve been doing that cheesy, end-of-a-chapter thing where you look around and think about how much you’ve grown as a person. This dorm has seen me through (most) all of it, so it feels kinda weird to think about leaving.
I’ll never be here in this way again. How odd.
The transition from college to after-college feels different than the move from high school to college, I think because of a bigger switch in format. High school to college was a transition from one kind of school to another. I am good at school. I know school well. School and I are great friends.
Work and I are reasonably well-acquainted, but still not good enough friends for things not to feel awkward occasionally. It will come, but in the meantime, I expect I will miss what I’m used to, like every other noticeably big change. I think it will probably be a quicker adjustment than I’m expecting, too, also like every other big change.
I weirdly have less narratively-satisfying thoughts on this than I thought I was going to, but maybe that’s because my life isn’t a movie. Here are some of the reflections I do have, that I would maybe advise my younger self on if I could:
Figure out your boundaries, and get good at defending them.
Eat a veggie once a week, bare minimum. You’ll feel better.
Food is necessary for life. So is sleep. Eat a snack and rest if you need to.
People are allowed to be complex and they can still be wrong.
If your friends are talking about your other friends behind their backs, they’re probably also talking about you. Maybe don’t hang out with those people.
Free Zoom lectures are all kinds of fun. Remember to check the time zone.
Black bean burgers are pretty good, actually.
Keeping up with friends takes actual scheduling, and it’s important.
Delicates bags keep the laundry room wormhole from eating your socks.
The cookies from catering freeze really well and make a good breakfast in a pinch. (Thanks for that one, Mary.)
Okay, so we’ve gotten through the weird college pre-nostalgia, the uncertainty about the future and the sappy advice-to-my-younger-self. Here are some predictions of music and podcasts I think I will permanently associate with my college experience:
After Laughter by Paramore
Petals For Armor by Hayley Williams
Lover, folklore, evermore, and Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift
SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo
Artists in general
Florence + The Machine
Note on music: Some of this is my personal taste and some of it was what was playing around me. I’m also leaving out Broadway cast recordings, of which there are many.
Dear Hank and John
Ologies with Alie Ward
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Pod and Prejudice
The Newest Olympian
Note on chronology: Albums and podcasts are in attempted chronological order. Artists in general are not.
This isn’t the end-of-college post I was expecting to make, but it’s the one my brain provided. At the very least, it will be interesting to look back on. To borrow a line from a song cut from The Lightning Thief Musical, “it’s weird, but a good weird.” A musical had to make its way in here somehow, and this one has been soundtracking the past two weeks.
Alright, that’s it. I’ve got a final in the morning. G’night.