bvandelagemaat11 May 23rd, 2011
My fellow Class of 2011 graduate Itai Njanji and me are making fun of my little brother: he doesn’t have a degree. With every clever solution that we come up with, we make sure we credit our liberal arts education. I am wearing a Wooster Alumni sweater. We talk about fashion that is for college kids, meaning it is not for us.
It is only a week since we received our diplomas, but it is real. Wooster is in our past.
I had underestimated the intensity of commencement weekend. I imagined that it would be one big celebration, a fitting goodbye to four wonderful years. However, commencement is a two-edged sword. Of course, it is wonderful to receive a degree and be at the center of attention for three straight days. Moreover, my family from the Netherlands visited Wooster for the first time in four years. But May 16 almost asked too much of me. I wanted to take hundreds of pictures, meet all my friends’ families, I wanted to say goodbye to my professors, I wanted to show my parents around on campus, I wanted to spend time with Keri, and I had not had a full night of sleep since finals started a week ago. At the end of the day, I was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. I felt great about my beautiful diploma, about all the amazing people in my life, and about the four very special years at Wooster, but the mix of emotions was unlike anything I had ever felt before. One older gentleman told me that he had quoted Charles Dickens during his graduation many years ago: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The gentleman told me this on Saturday, but only by Monday night I realized what he had meant.
When I got to New York City on Friday after staying in Wooster for four days to close the buildings down, my tank was still very low. I slept over twelve hours the first night I arrive in the City of Dreams and the night after I did it again. It seems like it is a long way to recover fully from the emotional roller coaster that leaving your Alma Mater is. Digesting all the events from graduation weekend and making the transition to life in the Netherlands will take time.
I now say goodbye to this blog. My life has been documented here since the spring semester of my sophomore year, but now I am passing on the torch. New generations of Wooster students will be sharing their experiences through various media, while I start my life in Amsterdam.
Thanks for reading my posts, thanks for following the bigger and smaller events in my life. A nice side-effect of writing this blog is that I have a record of 5 of my 7 semesters in Wooster. I am happy that I can confidently say that if I would be given the opportunity to come to Wooster again I would do it all over. I have had four amazing years and I can recommend this school to anyone who is looking for an unpretentious top class liberal arts college with a beautiful campus and a community in which I built relationships that will last a lifetime.