Looking Back on Senior Week

Three years ago at this time, my roommate, Caroline, and I sat at a bar drinking dirty Shirleys after our last exams of college. She would go on to nursing school after graduation, and I would apply to and quickly begin a graduate program, but at that moment, sitting on those bar stools with cheap cocktails before us, the life that we had gotten so used to, and so good at, was ending.

There was a week and a day between the last exam and graduation--a time called Senior Week--where everyone who was graduating stuck around and did some considerable drinking. Every moment of Senior Week was planned by the university for the more obnoxious students, the ones with more class spirit than they knew what to do with, but I was never exactly one of those students. Caroline and I made our way through a couple of sponsored barbecues and the cocktail party with the President, but the majority of our Senior Week was spent together, in our apartment, out to lunch, getting manicures, or running through those legendary fountains in the middle of the night.

There were no papers to be written, no exams or presentations for which we had to prepare; nothing to do but pack up boxes of our belongings and reminisce about the past four years. It was sweet and sometimes boring, and we'd laugh about having nothing to do. I would wake up without an alarm clock and wander into Caroline's room, get in her bed, and we'd watch a movie, first thing in the morning. And then it was 11:30 AM, so we'd go out to lunch, the only ones under 60 in the whole restaurant.

I look back on that week as bizarre and a little scary, but so fun. I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off and fly away as soon as I boxed up the last of my books.

My brother is graduating on Saturday. This is his Senior Week. And as I looked back to remember what it felt like then, I could feel it, not from reminiscing, but because even three years later it's still there. That feeling of potential, and blindness, and a little bit of fear, and a lot of excitement, all wrapped into one.

Have a wonderful week, Sean.
See you Friday.