So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Wow.

Graduation is on Sunday. Four years really have flown by. They have been packed with activities: switching my major, taking Orgo, and participating in Dance Marathon are among the few things I’ve done. Yet I feel like I haven’t really accomplished much. I wish I had gotten more involved on campus with clubs or organizations or club sports. I wasn’t really able to find my specific calling on campus —  I wish I had put more effort into exploring all that Rutgers has to offer. I didn’t want to stretch myself too thin, but I wish I had some group or organization to which I truly belonged.

But that didn’t happen. And while my lack of involvement may be a minor regret, I nevertheless loved my college experience here at Rutgers.

The realization that things here are coming to an end are slowly starting to dawn on me. I don’t think the feelings will really hit until after convocation is over. Over the course of the past few weeks I have been taking in Rutgers and the aspects of the campus that I will miss. While walking down college ave from Brower to Scott Hall, I admired how the sun lit up the light green leaves on the trees as groups of students leisurely chatted with their friends or rushed to catch a shortly departing H bus. I savored the ability to get a slice of pizza at 2:30 AM from one of many late night food joints on Easton. I rode one of the buses and fondly remembered how clueless I was about them when I was a Freshman. I will not miss fighting with a throng of people to get on a bus at Scott Hall or the SAC. However, those survival-of-the-fittest moments have prepared me for New York subways. I’m going to miss the dining halls and getting food so conveniently. I’m going to miss the red and white flowers that line campus. I’ll miss tailgating for football games and partying afterward. I will miss many, many things about Rutgers…

Sure, I can always visit if I want to, but being at Rutgers as an alumna won’t feel the same as being here as a student.

These have been some of the best years of my life. I’ve made and lost friends, met new people, traveled to incredible parts of the world, had existential crises over my major and life plans, learned a lot in classes that interested me, stood on my feet for 30 hours to raise money, completed a thesis, connected with brilliant and kind professors and deans and staff members who have helped me every step of the way. I want to thank Rutgers for all the memories and life lessons that I have gained, because of which I am a better, more mature, and confident person than I was when I first started college.

Graduation is just around the corner and I am a mix of emotions. I’m a little sad to close the book on this chapter of my life. I’m shocked that I’m actually going to graduate; this day seemed so far in the future but now it’s happening. I’m a little scared and uneasy and anxious and a little excited for my life after graduation. Up until this point, every year has been planned out. It was easy — school. But now what? Freedom is a bit daunting because there are so many opportunities that I fear I won’t spend it correctly and I’ll end up doing nothing and wasting time. I’m scared that my motivations and desires are going to drastically change and I’ll be lost, unsure of how to proceed.

Despite my fears and worries, I know I will be ok in end. Because I am a Scarlet Knight, and I have learned how to stay strong, and persevere, and think my way through problems.

R U RAH RAH and all that. See you in the real world.

~Stephanie

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