‘Closing Time:’ the start of an era’s end


JESSICA GIANNONEOpinions Editor
The beginning of an end sounds a little somber; it’s as if the exciting spirit you have for a new start will soon be crushed by the fact that whatever it is you’re starting is actually deteriorating. It’s the voice that says, “Enjoy this period, but after this, it’s all over.”
I find it a little sad this is the start of my last semester. It’s like the pressure is on: to make the most of the last of the glorious college days.
I see all of these underclassmen prepping for another “dragging’ semester, which they’ll soon complain about how much they can’t wait for spring break, how they can’t stand Southern, and how all the classes are a waste of time.
I remember the days I would sit at my desk and think, “When will this be over? This semester will be the death of me!” I would count the days till the weekends, intersessions and the minutes until class ended. Getting up to be present in an intellectual atmosphere with kids my age was a drag before 11 a.m., doing homework was a time-consuming inconvenience in my “busy” life, and spending my days trapped in a cycle of responsibilities was exhausting.
Heck, even this semester will probably be the biggest ball of stress thus far. But I can guarantee you this is nothing compared to how life will be after graduation.
I’m definitely wasting my time saying this, but: appreciate the educational atmosphere! These are the best days of your lives, even in class, so suck it up and enjoy the privilege to learn. When you’re 50 you’ll be begging to get your foot back in a college classroom.
But of course we all love college. The late nights in neighbors’ dorms drinking and playing Kings; the crazy nights downtown in (actually) one of the greatest cities around; the times spent with roommates laughing and procrastinating; the new people, new experiences, new places and independence. It’s all different for every one of us, but it’s still college.
As I watch the freshmen come in, I find myself longing for those naïve days of curiosity and excitement, for each week on a campus surrounded by so many people. I resent the fact that my college life is coming to an end, and they still have years ahead to taste before they kiss the sweet college days goodbye. I will soon envy those feelings of stress, too, because I guarantee there’s a lot more where that came from in the real world.
But they, too, will move on in this endless circle of graduates, who all spent four short years progressing into the final stages of their youth.
So this is it. The beginning of the final semester; the last ride.
Although some of us can’t wait to graduate and start our much-anticipated lives, full of new responsibilities, experiences, and growth, it is a bittersweet thing to leave behind an unforgettable era.
Maybe we won’t miss the work, but at some point we’ll probably wish we could go back for just one day. That’s why we should cherish the days now; this time in our lives that is a lot easier to enjoy than we think. It is ending as we speak.
But like the Semisonic song reminds us, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

2 comments

  • I’m a Southern Alum and come back to read this paper now and then because of the excellent articles displayed such as this one. This writer is spot-on with the feelings associated with finishing school and the only certainty after completion of school is that things do not get easier for most people. This writer possesses a wit and acuity that transcend her years and I am going to miss reading her articles. I hope that future writers for the Southern News can be as insightful and entertaining. Best of luck to all graduates this year.

  • As the father of a future student to Southern, I will forward this on to him. Very proud to know the author. My son was just accepted and cannot wait to attend. Best wishes to you all.

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