I LOVE THE FALL. I love how the world changes as wind and sunlight work their wizardry to create shows of dancing leaves that traipse down streets. I love the feeling that the world is growing up, that time is passing, as school kids embark on adventures that will bring them new friends, new ideas, and new chances for self discovery and exploration.
As I enter what seems like the 25th grade, three thoughts catch in my mind
1.) I am very excited for an excuse to have four legitimate costume changes a day,
2.) I desperately hope someone will be my NY-152 and buy me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, and, 3.) I am struck that this is the beginning of the end of the school chapter in my life.
Setting off into this unknown last year is exciting and nerve racking, and it gives me a renewed sense that the world is filled with electric energy. I find myself stopping to study moments that I call “lasts.” The last time I will register for classes, the last time
I will anxiously await for a grade, and the last time I can call myself a student.
Being the Instagram fanatic that I am, I try and capture each moment I want to remember in a perfectly filtered photo; but the truth is I can’t. These are my “lasts”
of being a student. They are the increasingly loud tolls of time telling me that the
end, like it or not, is coming.
It may seem odd to talk about going back to school in terms of the end of school;
I do so because endings are powerful creatures. They have power that precedes their presence, reaching back to reshape all the moments and times that come before.
I remember backpacking through Europe with my mom. One night when we were staying in Paris, I went to the Eiffel Tower with a stranger we met in a hostel to see the dazzling night show (the one Carrie Bradshaw looks for in Sex and the City). It was one of those perfect moments when my new friend and I were lost in conversation under the Parisian stars, and I wished that moment would never end.
I remember the first time I went to a dance club when I was 19 and my date did not check to see if it was a 21+ club; he left me outside. One of his friends spoke to the bouncer and got me in, but my date was off flirting with someone else. I remember walking out and waiting at a nearby park for 45 minutes for my mother to come and get me. I remember how humiliated I felt and how much I just wanted the night to be over.
I remember when I took the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and in the middle of it thought, if I get up and leave right now, this will be over. I can end this right now. But I did not. I stuck it out and got through it. And I am so grateful I did, because if I had not seen it through the end, I would not be in school now.
As you start this school year, this new job, a new relationship, or whatever adventure you are embarking upon, I hope you savor it. I hope you have experiences that challenge you and help you grow, I hope you collect stories that you can laugh at with friends for years, and I hope that when you are going through difficult times, you find people who lift you up and you hold on to them fiercely.
The end is coming, so celebrate the beginning. Have a glorious school year.
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