Okay, so maybe I’m super lame, or a nerd, or whatever, but throughout this last, final semester of college, I’ve found myself wanting to stay in and read instead of head to dorm-room ragers around campus. I’ve found myself being grateful for the nights my athletics kept me sober, or getting annoyed with all the people who frequented my college’s favorite dive. I’ve found myself realizing that this partying social life that exemplifies the quintessential college experience is so not my scene anymore, and definitely not what I’m going to miss.
What I’m really going to miss are the academics, the things that keep me pouring myself over study materials late at night or keep me glued to a computer while I try to craft the perfect sentence. I’m going to miss sitting in a lecture and escaping the stress of the real world while I dive deep into whatever subject I’m studying. I’m going to miss the passion of my professors and hearing about the amazing stories they have to tell about their travels, their experiences, their love that they have for some subject that affects us all. I’m going to miss exploring something simply for the sake of exploring it, and reveling in the fact that this pursuit of knowledge we all embark upon in college is so noble and empowering. I’m going to miss it all, every single moment.
But the partying is going to come and go, and eventually we’re all going to outgrow it (even though it’s totally evident that I already have). We’re soon going to find ourselves in quieter bars where we can exchange conversation with our friends, or going on new adventures with them, or doing whatever it is that adults do. We’re going to find so many new joys in our lives that we’re not going to need a college party or college social life anymore. Partying might not be something that I’ll ever get back again, but I know it’s a void that will be filled with so many rad new things.
I know it may seem really weird, but here’s my thought process: When we (fingers crossed) get our real-world jobs, when is the next time we’ll be able to do a project about World War II simply because we think it’s interesting? When’s the next time we’ll be able to have a heated discussion about Sylvia Plath without people thinking we’re weirdos? I don’t really know the answers to those questions; I don’t really know the next time I’ll be able to study something simply because I want to know about it, and the thought of that kind of scares me. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let go of my 1:30 history colloquium, or my 11:30 poetry workshop, or any of the other amazing courses I’ve been able to take in college.
But I know that I’m scared for what I’ll be doing instead of going to those classes. Maybe it’ll be great; maybe I’ll land my dream job or find myself amidst everything that fills me with passion and happiness. Or maybe I’ll find myself paper-pushing, trapped in a web of bureaucracy; maybe I’ll find myself missing my life as a student, wanting to just go to a lecture but not being able to find the time.
But I think fear is good. I think fear is what will keep me looking for answers in books and keep my curiosity peaked; and for that, I think I’ll always be a lifelong student.