Tuesday was the senior class’ 25 days to graduation celebration. These countdown parties started at 200 and have been counting down ever since. While I recognize this is a great way to share your last year with your class, it is also a terribly effective way to make you come to terms with the fact that graduation is coming whether you like it or not. This realization comes with a multitude of feelings that are all over the place. It is difficult to go through a single day and not have thought about how you feel about ending your last year at Whitman, and to be completely honest sometimes I’m feeling great and excited for the whole world of possibility before me, and in a half an hour I’m on the phone with my mom dreading the fact that I might be living off Kraft mac and cheese and Top Ramen for the next few years.
It’s a scary time, and I think that I have had more epiphanies about life and how I function as a person in the past month than I have ever had in my life before then. It is an incredibly self-reflective time; a chance to examine what is important and what I have learned from my four years here. I even made a list of things to remind myself of as I move forward with life and try to take on the uncertain world before me. I think the greatest lesson I have learned and the thing I need to keep in mind as I move forward with the next 25 days and however many I live after that, is to slow down and stay balanced. Whitman advertises itself and its student body as a very balanced community and place. I think that is incredibly true, but at times the balance is disrupted and that is when you have the low points in your time here. For me my worst moments at this school were directly related to the fact that I had overscheduled myself and not allowed myself to just pause and appreciate where I am and who I am with, but once I take a step back and allow myself to breathe a little bit, I realize that everything is ok and that I can handle most anything.
Looking forward I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing, but what I do know is that Whitman has armed me with the tools I need to handle any interview, view things critically, and taught me more about my major and being a liberal arts student than I thought possible. That said, the greatest lesson I have learned at Whitman is not one I found in the classroom. In my time at Whitman I learned who I am as a person and what is important to me. I learned that while I considered myself an introvert, I soon found that to be false. I learned that I am much better at discussion than I am at regurgitating information. These are values that I am taking greatly into consideration when I look to take my next step, and being aware of them, for me, is the key to being happy wherever and whatever I do. Yes graduation terrifies me, but I’m excited and prepared to take on the real world.