Last week, as I walked across the Keyser Quad (and tripped—shh, it was embarrassing!), I experienced the most vivid déjà vu. Suddenly, it was 2009 again and I was walking on the same brick path. My mom, dad, sister, and I strained our ears to hear the tour guide while we toted our black and blue drawstring bags and tried to hang on to the stack of pamphlets, folders, and fliers in our hands. My head was congested with thoughts of college admissions essays, SAT scores, and the overwhelming beauty of the campus. Two years later, I’m here. The essays are over, the SAT scores are meaningless, and the campus is mine. The years are flying by.My friends would yell at me: “No, Lucie! Don’t write a blog about this now. Save it for your senior year or your last blog! It’s too sad to think about!” My friends are very warm and emotional (my roommates and I practically cried when saying goodbye for break). I’m sorry, guys, but this is currently on my mind and I feel the need to express myself. Growing up, attending school for nine months out of the year was always a given for me. I’m guilty of having made the expected remarks at some point in my life: “I hate school! I wish there were no such thing as school! I want a snow day every day!” I’ve wished for no homework, no tests, and no
studying. I never imagined, however, that one day, school would actually come to an end. Now that I’m way more than halfway finished with my schooling (91.2% finished, to be exact), I can look back and realize why I never actually dropped out, called it quits, and declared every day a snow day. It’s because I LOVED school! School was so much more than boring note-taking and repetitive lecturing. School was the site of all the fun—all of the brainless drama, the silly gossip, and the heart-throbbing walks past your secret crush.
While college is obviously different from elementary school, middle school, and high school, the fundamentals are still the same. Walking past your friends (or secret crushes) on the quad is just as exciting. There’s brainless drama, silly gossip, and high hopes for snow days. How is it that this period of my life is slowly but surely coming to an end? It feels like just yesterday my older brother, Robbie, opened his acceptance letter to UPenn. In just a few months, he’ll be graduating, working at a private equity firm in Manhattan, and supporting himself. In the blink of an eye he went from being my cool older brother who was in middle school (WOW, so old), to my awesome older brother who was in high school (!!!), to my 22-year-old genius older brother who’s a (soon-to-be) college graduate.
In just a few short years, after graduation, all of my friends will be scattered across the country—the world. Some will go back home, others will move out and start lives of their own. Either way, nothing will ever be the way it is right now. This is my last year—my last semester—living in on-campus housing. Every night, I go to sleep in a setting similar to a giant camp bunk, protected by dedicated Security guards, and surrounded by my best friends and my classmates. Next year I’ll be living in an apartment building with real people. Next fall I’ll be going abroad, and when I return I’ll have only 3 semesters left.
There’s no use crying or trying to slow down the time. All I can do is enjoy myself. In the first blog I ever wrote on “The Lucie Show,” I said that my friends and I work hard, but laugh even harder. I’ve literally been laughing the years away. I guess that’s not so bad after all.
Years from now, when I visit Hopkins as an alum (perhaps on a campus tour with my own children), I’ll probably experience a similar déjà vu as I walk across the Keyser Quad. I’ll point out the spot where my a cappella group sang during the “Jam on the Quad,” the bench where a friend and I sat for two hours talking about our lives, and the brick that I tripped over thirty years earlier. I’ll laugh, and time will keep flying.