It’s a Wednesday night, and I’m sitting across from my friend, Sara, in Olin Library. It’s not that I haven’t finished finals. In fact, my last final was on Monday. And it’s not that I’m having withdrawal symptoms from not being in Olin, as some of my friends joke, seeing as how I spend the majority of my semester in Olin. It’s jus that this semester is finishing off a bit differently than the others.
Normally, I would be taking the earliest bus out, right at the end of my last final, or at least by early the next morning. But as a first semester senior, especially with some close friends graduating this winter, the thought of leaving Cornell somewhat soon is putting me in a nostalgic state. Somehow, Cornell seems to know just that, and has responded by making this semester beautiful. We’ve had tons of sunshine and colorful days and the temperature has not dropped to it’s normal -50 degrees. I’ve never seen Cornell more beautiful than she is now.
Two days ago, I went on a jog in morning with a friend graduating this Saturday. He will start working at Stroud Consulting in February in Boston, so he’s got everything set. We ran throughout campus since this would be his last jog through Cornell. Normally, I’d have a lot to talk to him about, things that happened this past week, things that have been bothering me, but this jog was much more quiet, reflective. We jogged up towards North, went around Beebe Lake, cut through the Ag Quad, ran through the Arts Quad, then strolled back to Collegetown. I asked him how he felt about graduating in just a few days. He said it hadn’t hit him yet.
This morning, I cooked breakfast for a friend who will be studying abroad next semester. That means that it will be a while before I see her again, since I will be graduating at the end of next semester. Once again, we could have had deep conversations about our semester, about our future, about our lives, seeing as how it would only be moments before she would leave my life, physically, for a long period of time. Instead, we sat and joked while watching youtube videos. As she left, she said the same thing. She can’t really understand yet that she won’t be seeing me for a while.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that at the end of the semester, we are all so wrapped up with finals, papers, and stress, that when the last day comes, it hits us by surprise. Then, it passes by so quickly, that other than a slight pang, we move on with our lives.
In our increasingly globalized world, where with a click of a button, we can be connected through Skype or cellphone to someone else, in some far part of the world, the end doesn’t really seem like the end. In a way, it’s true. I can keep in touch with any of my former friends if I made that effort. In a way, globalization has made the movement of relationship to relationship, friend group to friend group, much smoother. But is that necessarily better?
For me, these few extra days staying at Cornell, without having ANYTHING to do, I think, has done me a lot of good. I’ve been able to spend that little extra time with people I care about and finish up some extra work that I know I will be unable to finish efficiently at home. But more importantly, it’s given me a time to think about time, about friendships, about maturing, and about change. No conclusions yet, but the process, I think, is more important than whatever it is I’m supposed to reach a conclusion about.
All I know is that, Cornell, I will miss the hell out of you in five months. But, until then, this is just another opportunity to make most of my time while here.