It’s surreal. I keep catching myself thinking when I’ll have to book my Greyhound tickets and going wait, I won’t be back (anytime soon). Or standing in the corner trying to see if I have cell phone reception and reminding myself that I’m back in the city. Or taking the shuttle every week to Walmart to pick up groceries.
It’s the little things, those “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore” moments that keep replaying in my head. Today even without an alarm, I woke up at 7 and began to instinctively plan my day around the gym (Merrill, I’ll miss you!). Then at breakfast, I silently and mentally commemorated Commons- especially those meals that were intended to be quick ones, but which ended up lasting for two hours due to the incredible distractions of food and people.
Maybe it sounds cliched (and Dr. Seuss’ inspirational lines too), but I’m thankful for leaving Bates a different individual: I’ve grown.a pair of spontaneous wings (back-ups in case I need to deal with last minute changes) that have taught me to live more in the moment. I’ve learned to not dwell on the past and to move on. I’ve reverse-evolved from a night owl to an early bird. I’ve developed new interests that I’ve either picked up or abandoned- Professional dancing? Working in fashion? Advertising? Writing for a magazine? Culinary school? Who knows?!
Yet, I think the only thing that hasn’t changed is that restlessness- I still haven’t felt that I’ve taken enough advantage of all the opportunities Bates
has (had) to offer. If anything, graduating from Bates has recharged me even more. It’s left me ridiculously super-energized, especially when I start working (and plan to volunteer on the weekends!)
And as I sit in my new apartment single typing this sort-of last will & testament, I can say that Bates has truly killed my fear of flying- whatever I was unsure of before I came here has taught me to build my confidence diving into the unknown. So thank you-to my classmates and professors: for sharing your paths with mine; to my work supervisors: for the kindness and advice you’ve passed to me (and for those gifts!); finally, to Bates, if you were a person, you’d be like the Megazord from the Power Rangers who come together in the ultimate big bang of flavors that do all things unimaginable to the tongue- dance, blanch, julienne, suspend- all to no end.
I’ve left the den. And I hope I can be able to guide those waiting in line. But for now: Oh, the places we’ll go!
(Fun note for those who ever instinctively dissected graduation speeches)
V for Voracious Bobcat