20 May 2017.
I feel as if I am watching my life here with you, my Dear Dartmouth, as if it were the last season of Girls. We are on Season 6, episode 8 out of 10 (episode 9 is the “Goodbye Tour” – but we are not quite there yet). It feels so surreal – knowing that the end is rapidly approaching, but also knowing that I have to stay present enough to catch the end of you. I have lost the ability to commit to one emotion for any significant length of time; you have taught me so much, yet I have never loved or hated anyone as deeply as you.
I can feel the tension building - we are rapidly approaching the feeling of nostalgia and the “last (noun)” identifications. I feel it sometimes, when I look at you as the sun sets and you the windows of Dartmouth Hall are aglow. I feel it sometimes, when I snuggle into my plush blanket (because it is 52 degrees outside in May) and look up at my “Wall of Happiness” (a collection of cards, letters, photographs, and postcards that mean the world to me). I feel it when I think about how much of my time spent with you I have spent waiting-- in lines at KAF, at the crosswalk between Collis and Dirt Cowboy…
I oscillate between feeling absolutely terrified and completely exhilarated at the thought of graduation and leaving you for the great beyond - that feeling you get when summer is approaching and you can taste the nostalgia on the tip of your tongue and as you swallow you find yourself swallowing down tears. I find myself thinking about whether or not I would send my children to you, Dear Dartmouth. Then I think if I would even have any children. I find myself thinking a lot in general – you have made me more contemplative, and you have given me much to reflect upon.
I am a planner, a do-er, a constant goal-setter. And this senior spring, I find myself with more free time that I ever have in my entire life. My iCal used to be neatly sorted into different colored blocks (Econ 49, Engs 18, Rocky, Gym, Friends!). It is now solidly white space and blocks of blue for Econ 49 – not because I am still taking my Econ seminar, but because I am presently too lazy to change it to anything else and because I do not have anything in my calendars these days. My mom jokes that I should be more like a river, and let myself flow with wherever the day takes me. I (jokingly) tell her that I am a rock, stuck in the river and not really desiring to go anywhere. But, you are the river that pushes me along anyway, and soon you will push me out of Hanover.
I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but we, class of 2017, have grown up. You have forced me to grow up, willingly or not. Dear Dartmouth, thank you. This is not a love letter, nor a hate letter. It’s simply a last letter.