First Day, Last Day

First Day
I step out of my dorm into the stifling heat and humidity of the early morning, feeling suffocated by the water in the air. I set my face towards the building that I hope contains my first class, praying for strength and comfort. I pass no familiar faces.

I sit down for Greek in a dark, windowless room. We take turns telling why we wanted to take Greek, and we learn the alphabet. I’m excited by his promise of reading the New Testament, but I see few prospects of making friends in this class.

I pass through the BSB lobby. I see no one I know, for there’s no one to see.

I go to Pennington’s Honors Chemistry class, where I learn about significant figures. Again. (Little did I know how many of my friends-to-be sat through this same lecture.)

Chapel. Lunch. Who can I sit with? What should we talk about?

I enter my first BIC class, where I meet ten professors, throw around a beach ball of ideas, and giggle with joy at my reading assignments. I think, THIS is why learning was created!

I’m insanely excited for my classes. I’m not quite homesick. I call Tommy to see how his first day went. I call my mom.

I return to a little square room – in a city that will likely never feel quite like home – to write a blog entry.

Last Day
I step out of my apartment into the comforting warmth and humidity of the early morning, wrapping it around me like a blanket. I pray for comfort on my last day, and with thanksgiving for all it represents. I have 350 very important pages in my hands that have taken two years to make. I walk past my first dorm on my way to the engineering building. I pass faces I know and faces I don’t, on a campus where I can’t get lost.

My thesis advisor has signed my pages. I’m done! I lilt across campus, calling Greg and my mom, hoping to make it to the Honors office before the sky lets loose on my precious pages. I make it. The office is filled with students like me waiting to submit their hard-earned work and professors whom I’ve seen for four years.

I wait in the BSB lobby before my next (and final) class. I see no one I know. I flip through the Lariat, play with my phone, and regret not bringing my computer. I take in the atmosphere between classes: people chatting at the coffee counter, students waiting in line for the printers, people lounging in the chairs and windowsills, and good friends chatting about the last day of school.

I take my seat in Physics, my last undergraduate class. It is uneventful, and no tears flow.

A car waits for me outside. Three friends from Greek class go to lunch, chatting about school, the future, weddings, and our former professor.

I come home to work on a paper. I drive over to watch the engineers play ultimate frisbee, sitting on the “girlfriend/fiancee bench”, waving to people I know, celebrating my friend’s new job, rejoicing that my thesis is over, and trying to catch Greg leaping in the air on my camera.

I walk over to the library basement and plop in front of the familiar whiteboard with my math crew, beginning the epic stretch of studying for finals. We work and laugh and sing.

I meet up with Greg and friends again for an improv comedy show, laughing and enjoying the comfortable company of friends and acquaintances all around me. A friend re-introduces me to her boyfriend after the show. We told her, “Yeah, we’ve met. We had Pennington’s chemistry together.”

I come home to write a blog entry. And I hardly hesitate in writing home.

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1 Comment

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One response to “First Day, Last Day

  1. tommy

    oooohhhh ;_;

    so sad

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