On Friday my housemates and I joined the thousands before us who have taken pictures in our Carolina blue caps and gowns at the old well, Chapel Hill mural and in the arboretum. We even snapped a picture with the chancellor and warded off a sweet group of “holi-molified” colorful friends along the way. For the first time since August I was forced to leave my warm burrow of denial and admit that I was graduating in May. This weekend I have been wavering from extreme bouts of laughter to my eyes welling up with tears after hearing the lyrics “you are done” at the Ben Rector/ Matt Kearny concert in Raleigh (luckily my friend Diana helped me to pull it together by reminding me it was just a song). I have noticed that my homework habits are absent completely and I spend free time on the quad soaking up the Carolina sunshine because I know in the future “In my mind I’ll be gone to Carolina,” but I will never be a student again.
Saturday night, as I drove a car load of freshmen to the concert, I realized that the sun is setting on the class of 2014. We will soon join the alumni, the “something old” that makes Carolina so special, but we will no longer be the “something new” experiencing our four years on our happy hill. I told them that I was jealous of the growing they will get to do over the next three years during this special time of exploration. We talked about how sometimes this growth is taken in stride and other times they will be stretched to the point of almost breaking. I added that this is the point that I often learned the most about myself and about the need for support from others. As much as we like to believe we are invincible, we are not. I added that I hoped they enjoyed nesting here under the beautiful Carolina blue sky.
Today I decided to dedicate my blog to a countdown for the class of 2014. I am doing this mostly for myself. This countdown does not signal the nd of the “best four years of your life” as we have been told, but the next chapter. We will no longer be “future ______” we will be living in the world. I cannot wait to see the class of 2014’s beautiful palette of gifts spread around the world.