Final Thoughts

Well, it looks like this is it. As I gaze out my window I see an odd cycle of students packing their belongings into cars and throwing trash on the ground, as workers in yellow vests pick up trash while trying to avoid getting hit by frenzied students packing their belongings into cars. There’s probably a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, but for me it’s the final sign that another year is coming to a close.

My final assignments are almost done and ready to go, my dorm is bare and devoid of food like the Grinch visited overnight — a fact which the mice infesting our dorm have formally complained about — and the entryway is filled with my roommates belongings that they’re probably planning to abandon out of convenience. It’s that time again already.

We’ve all got some final business to take care of before we wrap it up here. Some of us have to grovel for that final half-percent to pass a class. Others have to coordinate which family members can see them graduate without causing an internal feud. Me? I just have to remember to make it down to the share rooms in the residence halls at some point to collect anything that can be sold on Craigslist.

From the sound of the emails I’ve been skimming, it seems that some of us will be “commencing” in the next few days. What that means I can only guess, but they tell me that those who participate are never seen on campus again and often go out in the world to work for large piles of money.

So the best of luck to those of you who are moving onward and upward in the next few days. If it’s possible to send a message back from the other side, then let me know if I should switch my degree to something more marketable before it’s too late. (Also, exactly how big are these piles of money? Are we talking Scrooge McDuck money swimming pool sized here?)

This may very well have been the hardest year of college for the majority of the people I know, but my friends and I certainly made the most of it. From discovering television treasures such as “Rick and Morty” and “Todd and The Book of Pure Evil” (both of which I highly recommend) to near-fatal trips to surf the bore tide, we somehow found a way to cram as much life into the free time between classes as possible.

Inadvisable hiking trips, St. Patrick’s Day parties that managed to dye most of my belongings green and a general lack of repercussions for my procrastination — these are the things I’ll remember from this year. (Not to mention the three separate occasions I crammed a full size road bike and two passengers into my pint-sized car.)

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Whether you’re coming back, wearied and ready for another helping of college, or moving on to the frightening world of employment, I wish you the best of luck. You may have been paying for the academic knowledge, but the things you’ll remember from your time here won’t be things you can quickly relearn from a Wikipedia article.

From frantic nights spent at the library, to late night visits to “South Hall” for a game of pool, we’ve all had our fair share of memories here. Whether you finished in four — in which case, tell me your secret — or you’re on an extended plan like everyone I know, you’ll have a lifetime of memories to accompany that coveted degree.

So go out and enjoy the summer. Hike mountains, kayak fjords, explore the backcountry or even do whatever it is those poor souls from the Lower 48 do for fun. Come back refreshed in the fall for work, adventure or another round of classes. But whatever you do, enjoy yourself and remember the memories you made here, even if your adviser has warned you that you may have years’ worth of memories left to make.

Well, here we are, the awkward optimistic conclusion part of the column. I promised myself I wouldn’t ramble on with clichés and poorly formed metaphors, so here’s the final word. Good luck to those of you lucky enough to graduate this round. And for those of you who didn’t, assuming I haven’t fled to Hawaii by next fall, then have a drink on me.

So, fellow mythical ocean wolves, congratulations, good luck and well done on another fantastic year.

Roll credits, guys, that’s the end of year three.