I had hoped to write this piece, graduation cap in hand, with some great and optimistic future draped across my shoulders. I hoped to follow it by standing in a crowded room of my peers as we celebrated our winter graduation from Brandeis University. I won’t belabor the point. We all know that social anxiety is least of my concerns in crowds these days.
It’s hard to summarize my time at Brandeis—which looked so opposite to the long hours before my computer screen this year. I spent my spring mornings at Waltham’s farmers’ market, my winter afternoons telling my friends that snow boots are, in fact, imperative for sledding and nights of any season traipsing across blurry street crossings, unable to feel the chill in the air. I explored the woods that surround campus and I laid on the warm earth, heated I suppose, by the geothermal vents that crisscross these hills.
I spent hours on end getting to know the most intimate parts of Brandeis at the paper I once said I’d take a bullet for, The Brandeis Hoot. In a way I feel a bit like a Brandeis expert, cataloguing the scholarship and scandal any student journalist digs up in a four-year career. As someone who can outline Brandeis’s greatest shortcomings and successes in extraordinary detail, it’s no surprise I’ve loved my time here. There is no way to do this work without caring, deeply, about your community.
To that point, being an Editor-in-Chief of this paper has been, in a word, incredible. There is a version of me, somewhere, that didn’t pick up a flyer for her student newspaper off the ground her freshman year. I feel incredibly lucky to be living this life, one where I found a passion for journalism and a group of friends that I hope to never lose.
The people that make up Brandeis, though often aggressively passionate and a little odd, are what made my experience here beautiful and certainly, memorable. In and outside of The Hoot, the friends I’ve made here helped me feel at home. I feel a lot of love for place and person, despite some of the stress schooling has put me under. My relationship with my soon-to-be alma mater, like most things, will always be complicated. I don’t regret a minute of my time here.
My unceremonious departure is a strange sort of comfort. There are no graduation parties, gifts from long-forgotten relatives or formal attire required. The lack of pomp and circumstance means that the weirdness of being suddenly deposited into the nebulous realm of “adulthood” is more obvious. I’m forced to stare at the awkwardness of disappearing between yearbooks in its face. I don’t have the advantage of looking away, and for all this year’s weirdness, this departure feels more honest. Maybe some endings are meant to be unsatisfying.
In that spirit, should I leave it here?
I think so.