Senior Reflections: Time (Well) Spent Throughout College
There’s a mystery to time. There’s too much of it one day, then suddenly, there’s not enough left. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice of a certain Wonderland would say.
My time at Emory has left me far more quickly than I thought it would. At times, four years doesn’t seem like enough. There’s not the time to do everything! I wanted to shout on those days when I lived in Woodruff Library, buried up to my nose in homework. I didn’t go to half the events I wanted to go to on campus. I didn’t study abroad. I never made it to Music Midtown. I have yet to set foot in the Pitts Theology Library; I only ever ventured into the Carlos Museum because of class. And I never did manage to catch a Dooley’s Week T-shirt properly at Wonderful Wednesday (the one that managed to land on my head that one time doesn’t count).
Somehow, graduation has crept up on me. A time when half the Quad is cordoned off with yellow tape, a large metallic frame for the stage appears overnight and seniors face the question we’ve been hearing since September: “so what are you doing with the rest of your life?” One moment, I was planning how many books I need to return at the library, and the next, it hits me: I have one more week of classes for my entire college career left.
It’s hard to appreciate how earth-shattering this realization can be until it hits you. One more week of classes. One week of finals. Graduation. Then: the real world. You think, how on earth did I already spend my four years?
I spent an inordinately large amount of them in the Wheel offices, managing the spelling and grammar side of the newspaper while the staff of section editors changed every year. The midnight hours I spent staring at a computer screen and looking for wayward Oxford commas became all too familiar, but they afforded me the chance to appreciate the rush of meeting the printing deadline. And the night sky when no one else is awake to see it. And the stupidity of signing up for an 8:30 French class the morning after a production night. Through all four years, Evan and Roshani have been two constants at the Wheel — no matter who was in charge or what section was running late, I knew that Evan would finish his work absurdly early, and Roshani would meow at anyone who bothered her
I witnessed the majority of the performances held in the concert hall of the Schwartz Center without too many bumps or moments of ‘gracefulness’ to live down. I saw every candlelight entrance and exit for Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas. I investigated for the Honor Council and helped at a speech language and learning lab in the Psychology department and invaded Dr. Rusche’s office for two-hour conversations that were meant to be only five minutes. I survived writing my honors thesis. I watched way too many weird movies with my roommate. I laughed until I literally could not breathe more times than I can count with my friends.
Somehow, my four years filled themselves with friends, interests and activities that I never would have imagined myself having at the beginning of freshman year. I was barely 17, not even old enough to sign my own documents when I signed up for housing in the spring. I couldn’t have predicted the importance that King Arthur or Doctor Who or Aldous Huxley would have to me now.
Four years have passed since my orientation at Emory. Next year, I will only be a visitor to the campus. I will be living in the real world and not in the Emory bubble. I will be a graduate student, on her way to a Ph.D. Time will slow back down to its regular rush.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Senior Editor Steffi Delcourt is a College senior from St. Simons Island, Ga.