If my time at Hopkins were a TV show, today would be the first episode of the final season. Maybe it would start with a bouncy tune right as my feet swung out of bed, and we’d see a cameo of the most important people in my life. Maybe I would have some comical blunders but end the day with some deep, reflective voiceover that would set the tone for the rest of the season. Maybe I watched too much TV this break?
But okay it’s actually, honestly, officially the Last First Day, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about it. I think that JHU_Emily did a great job describing it, but here’s my attempt: I think it’s supposed to feel special, nostalgic and bittersweet. Maybe there’s a mix of accomplishment and even relief. I mean it’s the home stretch. All in all, I think it’s just supposed to feel different.
Admittedly, it’s only the middle of my day but the only word I can think of to describe it so far, is normal. And that feels weird. I don’t have class until 1:30 on Mondays, so I woke up with plenty of time to head to the gym, make breakfast, check (read: hope) that I had all my materials for class, send some emails, and grab lunch with a friend. There was no extra excitement or energy as I walked to campus. It just felt routine…but not in a bad way. It was that comfort of ending up at your destination without thinking about how you got there. It was knowing exactly where you like sitting in a certain lecture hall and knowing what obscure building your professor’s office is in (lookin’ at you, Whitehead).
I think leading up to today I reflected more on how we’re nearing our conclusion at Hopkins. As post-grad plans continue to roll in it’s becoming way too clear that my friends will be scattered across the country. My roommates and I spent moments over Intersession being emotional about our last 4 months, and vowing to spend as much time together as possible. I anxiously started compiling a list for my last set of months in Baltimore. Change is coming, and I thought that the Last First Day would make it seem faster. I’m glad, though, that it ended up having the opposite effect. I’m glad that I felt an overwhelming normality, because it was a reassuring pull back into the present. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years, but hey, it’s not over just yet.