A Bittersweet End

I’m sitting in my office at school. I suppose, I should clarify that this “office” is an old classroom that the department decided to cram with cubicles for some of us grad students. It definitely has quite a “grad student” atmosphere, if a room could ever have such an atmosphere. One walks in and sees books, papers, flags, pictures, pens, coffee cups, coffee makers, a microwave (or two), random lyrics from popular songs or a nerdy text on the chalkboard, and schedules and textbooks, and so forth. To put it simply it’s like a sort of chaos with order. Everyone is headed towards a similar goal: to make it through the week and semester, maybe even just that one class a student is frantically typing a paper for on a laptop. There’s plenty of coffee and candy and pizza eaten in here. Not all of us are studying the same thing, we just by the decision of the department all ended up in the same office. We joke and laugh when we’re not venting about classes and stress or stuffing our faces with food and coffee. Oh, grad school…

It’s dead silent right now. I’m the only one in here and am realizing that the silence is a foreshadowing of the end of the semester. Everyone is either at the library or at home getting ready to begin the last 100 meter dash to the finish line of the semester. I should be gone too, but I’m here for a few minutes to pick a few things up that I left.

It’s bittersweet to come to the end of a chapter of life much like when you come to the end of a good book. You’re so happy to have nearly finished the book, but at the same time you’re sad to see it come to an end because the story is over. That is the way I feel. I have been here for what seems like a very long time studying and struggling for a goal. I couldn’t wait to meet that goal when I started. Now, I’m standing here, and it’s almost over. I just finished my last class ever with one of my favorite professors. It was one of those strange moments in life where you feel two things at once. I’m so happy the class that has driven me crazy all semester is pretty much over, but at the same time it’s hard to say goodbye to that prof as well as my classmates.

I’m moving. I’m continuing my education in another state far, far away. So, this is not just a simple see you soon when I leave. It’s a, “I have no idea when I’ll see you again, but take care.” This relates to all of my family and friends here in Texas. I’m headed straight for the absolute unfamiliar to try to continue studying French. Honestly, I’m scared to death, but then I’m also excited to get to keep learning. How does that happen? To feel so many emotions at once? I suppose, it’s only normal when a big change is coming.

You know what I love though? Even though it’s scary and even though my profs, my fellow grad students, my friends, and my family are all sad to see me go, I know that they will be there cheering me on from a distance even after I move away and start this new chapter of my life.

For now, I need to get back to writing papers and working on projects. I’m glad to see the end, and I’m eager to see what’s in store, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the memories and experiences I have had at a certain university in the middle of the desert of West Texas.

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