I've been nostalgic about this place since before I got here.
One of my friends passed away within a week of graduating from Yale in 2011, and it was enough to send post-gap-year me into this hyperactive appreciative mode from the moment I set foot on Harvard's campus. So the time hasn't flown -- I've watched it pass at a steady speed, for the most part. But these past few weeks have flown by. (Is it currently the week that started with Yardfest? Is senior week coming up after just two more of these short weeks?)
Reading week is weird in particular. Suspended between the end of classes ending and the start of finals that don't really matter, we float through the week of The Formals and hear the final clubs play the same songs over and over starting around the time we wake up at noon most days. I've been sitting here trying to structure the time so I can savor the time, but end up paralyzed and procrastinating.
I don't think there's a way to make time matter more than it ordinarily would, as we try to make the most of every day over this next month. I don't think you can go to enough parties to make up for the fact that you won't have all of these friends (and strangers) constantly around to party with next year. I don't think you can get enough meals to bottle up your inside jokes with your best friends and keep them intact for posterity. I don't think you can hold someone you love close enough to you that May 27th won't feel rattlingly empty.
I'm dreading the month right after commencement the most. Going home or traveling or doing anything off campus has been fun since I've always known that I'd be going back to my brick haven where I live basically in the same house as all of my friends. I don't know what it's going to be like being situated in a four-person family in a suburban house in Northern Virginia again, without knowing that I'm coming back here soon.
I don't know what I'm doing next year. This doesn't make the dread any worse or better; it mostly just doesn't allow me to picture something concrete to dread. I'm trying to follow my own advice and challenge myself by plunging into my passions and my fears next year, but so far no place has met my criteria: I want to just post an opening for ME -- looking for challenging, interdisciplinary, meaningful work that helps people and isn't boring; email Ratna Gill if interested.
I have no advice. My posts usually end with some way of framing everything optimistically and happily, but today I'm more trying to capture a feeling in words.