Tricks are for kids (and maybe I’m still one)
What you’re about to witness will be the greatest trick you have ever seen in your life. As you can tell, there is nothing up my sleeves. Close your eyes. On the count of four, open them, and be amazed. One…two…three…four.
And that’s basically what being a senior is like.
There have been many times that the cynic in me has seen college and life itself as a game meant to be played with pinched smiles and perfect resumes – an awful trick where I just can’t seem to find the joker in the deck.
Four years ago, I thought I had it all figured out. As soon as I left my June Orientation, I sat down at home and planned out all my classes for the next eight semesters. It was easy being spoon-fed the idea that I was going to do well in school, that I was going to take that wit and run as a biology major, that I was going to make it through med school and buy my own house with a kitchen island and two-ply toilet paper in every bathroom. But I guess at that point, my eyes were already closed.
I tell the families on my tours that there are people who stick to their intended majors and career paths that they come in bubbling and excited for; there are also people who change their majors three times and still leave unsure of what to do next. I’ve learned there’s not necessarily a right answer, despite what we’re conditioned to think because of graded papers and exams.
In sum, I’m the student who got hyper-involved, who pulled all-nighters my first year because I was figuring out how to manage six classes, two labs, club meetings and 2 a.m. conversations with my RA and roommates about comedy specials. I’m the student who changed her major and career path, who sent a letter home just to tell her parents her life update, and who has since decided not to graduate early just to revel in the campus life for a little bit longer. I’m the student who learned about the importance of self-care the hard way and is even taking a graduate class on it as if life is still full of easy answers in a textbook…
What I’m trying to say is that senior year has come up on me like an unexpected punchline to an anti-joke. Senior pictures, grad school applications, and emails about diplomas have suddenly appeared like the card I picked at the beginning of the trick. I chose my card–what to get involved in, what classes to take, what I want to do after Assumption. And yet, it still surprises me that I’ve lived my four years here so quickly.
Looking back with my eyes “open,” a lot can or cannot happen in four years. I can get the GPA I aimed for, I might not get the on-campus job I wanted, I might take a nap instead of going to the gym. As cheesy as it sounds, with any combination of my decisions, I had to make sure it fulfilled me and me alone. To my fellow seniors, maybe you have your life more put together than where I’m at right now. On the other hand, maybe there are plenty of us just as inherently excited to graduate and move on to the next adventure as well as scared out of our minds at the actual thought of diving into the “real world.” Either way, I want to put out there that I’m incredibly proud of all of us–all that we’ve been through, and all that we’ve been unsure about; all the options we’ve explored, and all the ideas we’re actually realizing.
To all my juniors, sophomores, and first-years–maybe this means nothing to you, but I sincerely hope you’re figuring things out for your best interest. My winding epiphany came from being overly involved on campus. Freshman year was a rat race of needing to find a niche as well as needing to know myself—my limits and passions. I know everyone has their own route. If you’re like me, and you’re cueing up “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts in the back of your head, you know things are a series of “getting better” moments. And if you know how quickly four years goes by, graduation might not seem like a cruel trick after all.
Isabella Camasura, a senior, studies English and natural sciences. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.