Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 23, 2024

So, it’s finally here.  My final semester.

When I was a freshman, I thought, “Heck, these seniors aren’t really that much older than me.  We’re basically the same, we’re all college students.”  I was wrong.

Three and a half years is not that long of a time in the scheme of life.  But damn, I’ve changed a lot.  I’ve become far less self-centered and far more independent.  I’ve packed my brain with terms like “aposematic coloration” and “astropolitics,” images of far off galaxies, maps of ancient civilizations, and countless books and articles.  I’ve spent months living in the rainforest of Brazil.  The kid who walked nervously up The Beach is now a man who is ready walk away for good.

On some days, I can’t wait to get the frick out of here.  Days when I feel like I’ll vomit if I ever see that specific combination of red brick, white marble and tarnished copper.  Enough class already! Who cares if I can analyze a 17th century pre-novel fictional work?  I want to plunge my hands into issues that matter, issues that someone outside of the professor’s office will be aware of.

But on other days— most days—I look toward May 23 with a mix of emptiness and nostalgia (already…).

I’ve been in school for a solid 18 years.  I don’t know any other way of life.  Sure, I’ve had summer jobs, and spent long periods of time living independently outside of school.  But summer break has always been there, a light at the end of the tunnel.

I love learning.  I know I’ll continue to learn for as long as I live.  But, damn, it will be hard to say goodbye to hours of lectures and readings on subjects that I will never approach again — especially because I really didn’t give it my all.  I don’t regret not trying harder, because a social life is worth it.  But all that learning that I didn’t take when I had the chance…

Hardest of all will be leaving a place where everyone I interact with is really smart.  Too often this simple fact gets taken for granted, especially in the underclassman years.  Spending a bit of time living in the “real world” can drive this point home.  To be constantly surrounded with people of your own age (and basically no one else) is an experience restricted to college, and frankly it will suck to leave that behind.

But I’m still here for 14 more weeks.  From here, Hopkins looks like an expensive bottle of wine that I’ve been slowly sipping for a while, and now need to chug down before the downtown cab arrives.  Even if every sip doesn’t taste great, and even if my head is spinning afterwards, it’s just too valuable to waste.

If you see me on campus, no matter if you know me or not, flag me down.  Let’s raise a glass, together.

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