My fellow seniors and I are eighty-seven days from being handed a diploma and leaving these cornfields forever. We have keychains with cheap countdown clocks on them that keep reminding us. I haven’t checked it in a few days so eighty-seven could be a bit off–but you get the idea.
I was walking to the water fountain in our biblical studies building before a meeting started tonight. I walked down the main hallway on the second floor and looked to my left at the classroom where I have philosophy tomorrow morning at 9am. I smiled when I remembered that my spiritual formation class was in there as well, spring of my freshman year. That’s the classroom where I became friends with a now-best friend, first heard twenty-one pilots, and ate the fakest chocolate to stay awake during one of my least-favorite collegiate classes.
I smiled and then caught my breath because that was three years ago, pretty much a lifetime ago, and I am now a senior.
I’m a senior who has cried in almost every building on campus (except for, ironically, the psychology building), who has experienced a new chapel and eating establishment, who has gotten so used to one walk around the lake chapping my face that I think I’m almost close to thinking fondly of Ohio winds.
(okay, that last one was definitely more of a hope than a fact)
I’m a senior who can feel that she has about outgrown cafeteria food, dorm bathrooms, and Swiss Army-brand backpacks. I’m a senior who wishes these last eighty-some days would go more slowly just so she can take a few more breaths and say a few more words to the underclassmen she has come to love. I’m a senior who is terrified to leave this sisterhood I have formed and go back to a state where (frankly) I often feel lonely. I’m a senior who goes to bed at midnight on the dot and, when she hears her freshman laughing from down the hall, has to blink away tears that those days are past for her own friend group.
I never fathomed that an ending could have such build-up as this countdown to graduation does but here I am, a senior who doesn’t have a job yet and doesn’t want to say goodbye to friends who have become sisters…….and yet I have this hope in my soul that God is not yet finished with my tale on this earth.
I feel rather like a Pevensie, longing to stay in my Narnia and yet knowing that there are many more adventures to be had before I join Aslan for my own Last Battle.
Further up and further in it is, then.