It’s almost here.
In a week, I’ll say goodbye to some of the greatest friends I’ll ever know. I won’t be a student at Miami University anymore.
But it hasn’t hit me yet.
I really figured I’d be smacked upside the head with a wave of extreme sadness and nostalgic longing by now.
But nope, nothing.
I’ve thought about it a lot. I feel bad that I can’t match the despair expressed to me by many of my friends. I want to be sad with them. I want to cry with them. I want to know exactly when all the emotions tied up in this place will hit.
I think I’ve figured it out, and I don’t like it.
I’ve spent most of my college career, especially this past semester, running around between all of my commitments. Most days, I don’t get back into bed until 2 or 3 a.m., which I know is average for college students, but it still takes a toll. I don’t have a moment to stop and really take everything in and feel all the feelings.
So, it’ll hit me once I’m done.
It’ll hit me after I leave the offices of The Miami Student late on a Monday night knowing I’ve helped put together my last print issue of the newspaper that’s given me so much.
After I say goodbye to the handful of professors that have changed my life and helped take me from an unsure 18-year-old to a smarter-but-still-unsure 22-year-old.
After I finish recording my last episode of “This Week @ TMS,” leaving behind a podcasting arm that I created to be run by someone else.
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After I leave my last class in Harrison Hall, the building that took an agreeable centrist youngster, chewed him up and spit him back out a Bernie-curious progressive.
After I sing my last note as a member of the Miami Men’s Glee Club, or sing my final parting song with my brothers in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
After all those last times, it still won’t sink in. It still won’t feel real.
I don’t think I’ll feel it even when I’m walking across the stage in Millett, wearing an insane assortment of ornaments around my neck that make me look like a sad, red Christmas tree.
It won’t come until after I see all the Snapchat stories and Instagram updates that everyone is back in Oxford, ready for one last hurrah of a semester. And, months from now, when I receive my official receipt (two of them, actually) for one college education in the mail.
It will hit when I finally have a chance to stop running around.
And I’ll have no one to share in that misery. I don’t like that prospect at all, but I also can’t just stop all my responsibilities in the last week of class.
I want it to sink in sooner. Somehow, in between every commitment, every class period, every meeting, I’ll have to find a way to remind myself of everything I’ll be leaving behind.
As I make my last mad-dash across campus to get to class on time, I won’t put in my earbuds. I’ll look around and appreciate the beautiful campus that became home for almost four years. I’ll forget all the crap I have to do for the next day so I can be present enough to laugh, cry and reminisce with a few of my best friends over a few (or, hopefully, more) drinks at Steinkeller.
Instead of thinking about how I have to edit another podcast later, I’ll look around Presser 222, at the guys I’ve had the privilege of making music with for years, and remember each of their faces and the sound of our voices together.
I’ll take my grandparents’ advice and write out thank-you letters to professors and friends, letting them know just how much better my life has been made with them in it.
I’ll do whatever I can to appreciate all the remaining moments I have in the place that I love with the people that I love.
I’ll force it to hit me, and then I can get properly emotional when I finally say what is somehow the corniest and most emotional line in Miami history.
“To think in such a place, I led such a life.”