As I turned the page of my calendar from March to April over the weekend, I had the sudden realization that I could now see the rest of my college career on one page. A mere five weeks is all that is keeping me from becoming a college graduate.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this is my last month as an undergraduate student, when it seems like I just moved into New/North as a freshman a mere weeks ago, instead of almost four years ago.
Whether I am ready for them or not, things are starting to happen that are confirming the inevitable — that I’ll be leaving the place I’ve called home for the past four years in just five weeks. On Sunday my club lacrosse team celebrated Senior Day, and sent eight of us (seven of us that have all played on the team together since we were freshmen) off with some parting words. On Monday I scheduled my first real job interview, and on Tuesday I bought my graduation sash.
In the next month, I’ll have senior dinners, last practices, last classes, last meetings and just in general a lot of “lasts” of my college experience.
It’s hard to imagine how I got to this point when I feel like it was just yesterday that I was cleaning out my high school locker. My grandma had called me to see how my last day of school went, and she asked me if I thought the last four years went by too quickly. “It seems like I was a freshman just yesterday. I don’t know where the time went,” I told her. She told me to wait and see how fast college would go by.
A couple days ago I was on on the phone with her again, this time walking back to my car after leaving work, when she asked if I remembered that conversation four years ago.
“Like it was yesterday,” I said.
Thinking about how quickly time goes by is overwhelming. When I look back and reflect on the last four years, I find myself thinking about whether or not I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to during the last four years, and if I’ve made the best of use of my time at USC. Did I spend enough time with people I care about? Did I take the right classes? Did I learn all the important lessons and take advantage of all the opportunities at my disposal as a student?
Honestly, I probably haven’t, but I’m starting to realize that’s okay.
I’ve come to the conclusion that looking back at the “could have, should have” moments isn’t really a good use of the short time I have left at USC. Neither is putting so much emphasis on this being the the end of an era of my life.
There will always be things that I could have done, should have done, maybe shouldn’t have done, but there’s no use revisiting those moments now unless it’s for a few laughs.
It’s natural to have a fear of time moving too fast for us to keep up with. But a better use of our precious time, I’ve realized, is to not be so nostalgic that we’re obsessing about the past, or so focused on the future that we are overwhelmed by the unknown. This might be one of the hardest things I’ve done throughout my four years at USC, but for the next five weeks I’m going to try to hang out right here in the present.
Emily Goldberg is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her blog column, Diaries of a Second-Semester Senior, runs every Thursday.