I Thought it Would Take Forever

With+the+big+day+only+a+couple+months+into+the+future%2C+the+reality+of+living+and+working+in+the+real+world+can+be+daunting+for+any+college+senior.+%28Sheneman%2FMCT+Campus%29

With the big day only a couple months into the future, the reality of living and working in the real world can be daunting for any college senior. (Sheneman/MCT Campus)

With the big day only a couple months into the future, the reality of living and working in the real world can be daunting for any college senior. (Sheneman/MCT Campus)

By JONATHAN JOHNSON
Contributing Writer
Published: October 5, 2012

I remember my first day on campus vividly. I arrived almost an hour before the first class of my freshman year, 8:30 a.m. English Composition II, a pattern that would continue for the majority of what then seemed like an eternity, now coming to an end. I received an email today from the Dean’s office regarding graduation applications being due on some day or another, and I felt momentarily suspended in time. Graduation?

I spent most of my life waiting for college, all of those other years of school just practice for the ultimate challenge— where I really belonged. Imagine my elation and trepidation then when I stepped foot into that English Composition class that first day, on what would be my first foray into the world I had imagined for myself and that had been imagined for me since before I could speak. It was great class. We debated, we wrote, we listened, we learned; it was everything I imagined college would be.

Three years and countless credits later (this is a lie, I can certainly count how many credits I have), college is ready to kick my ass out into the proverbial street and send me on my way, and I don’t know if I’m ready. Sure, I have my career goals lined up, a few internships and jobs under my belt and a bunch of contacts, but graduation?

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games took place in London this year. I watched them religiously every day, checking medal counts and comparing world record times as I have for as long as I can remember. During the closing ceremonies the featured music guests, the not-so-secret weapon the Brits had waiting, were the biggest group of my generation, the Spice Girls. And as I watched and listened to them give me everything, all the joy it brings, and command all the colors of the world to spice up their lives, I remembered fondly that eight-year-old boy I once was who detested the Spice Girls and their music and thought to myself, graduation? That’s still just a Vitamin C song to me.

This whole past summer, in fact, had been one mammoth, nostalgia-induced daydream, where time moved both slowly and rapidly at the same time leaving me confused as to what has happened. High school feels light years behind me, but a full-time job and a degree seem light years ahead. However, the truth of the matter is that the future is quickly becoming the present, and I’m fighting time—and losing—trying to claw my way back to Pop music and the original 150 Pokemon. I thought graduation only happens on television.

Come May, the evolution of a little boy to a grown man may not be televised, but it will certainly be preserved in memory and on rolls of film somewhere. Applications will be filed, pictures taken, rings purchased, caps and gowns measured, and finally, invitations handed out to a heap of family members all anxious to see me and several hundred other students walk across a stage to finally receive those degrees we all worked for, ones that started with classes like 8:30 a.m. English Composition II. I’m not ready for graduation, but it’s coming for me, and for you, too. So, here goes nothing. Rather, here goes $200,000 worth of education—but who’s counting?