Over and Out

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.

Bastiaan

6 Responses to “Over and Out”

  1. Tijson 24 May 2011 at 4:48 am

    It was a real honor to read this blog.
    See you soon!

  2. Rutgeron 24 May 2011 at 6:40 am

    Well, as your little brother, I will consider to get my degree.
    Enjoy being my roommate in Amsterdam and finally studying in your home country.

  3. Pepson 24 May 2011 at 11:18 am

    What a beautiful, honest and moving last blog, my son. It was great to follow your recordings of a College of Wooster career and this last one is a really fine crown on your work (is that an expression in English?)
    I had wanted to leave a comment right away this morning, but I decided to wait for the reaction of your other Most Faithful and Dedicated Commenter, opa Reyer, so that I could write the 300th comment. Unfortunately, two unknown newcomers on this front have ruined my party…

  4. opa reyeron 24 May 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Hallo Bastiaan!
    Wat heb ik al die jaren van je blog genoten! Met grote trouw en met een zich steeds rijker ontplooiend schrijftalent heb je ons op de hoogte gehouden van de grote en kleine voorvallen in je Woosterjaren. Je eindigt met een pakkend verslag van de slijtageslag vóór, tijdens en na je graduation. Je hebt het volgehouden, ook dat! En dan komt het afscheid met de verwarrende en vermoeiende mix van emoties: vreugde en verdriet – je neemt een prachtig diploma en een schat aan herinneringen mee, maar er is ook veel dierbaars dat je moet achterlaten. Er hangt onmiskenbaar een sfeer van weemoed om.
    Maar je gaat met open mind naar Amsterdam: een fase met nieuwe uitdagingen en mogelijkheden: een heel nieuw en andersoortig universitair avontuur. Veel succes ermee!
    Tot slot: heel veel dank voor je altijd lezenswaardige Woosterblog!

    PS Al had ik vanochtend meteen gereageerd, Gijsbert was toch niet nr. 300 geweest… Jammer

  5. Charlotteon 25 May 2011 at 7:34 am

    Dear Brother! I have enjoyed reading you blog very much! I will miss it but I will also enjoy talking to you everyday in real life instead of hearing about your life over this blog! See you soon!! X

  6. Sandoron 26 May 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Bastiaan,

    Ook ik als trouwe lezer van je blog wil via dit medium nogmaals zeggen hoe ik heb genoten om jou gedachtespinsels en ervaringen en avonturen mee te krijgen door jou woorden te lezen op mijn laptopje, vaak aan het einde van een lange dag met nog veel taken die op mij wachtte; altijd op zoek en genietend van deze sporadische momenten van ontspanning!

    Je hebt ons als volgers altijd weten te boeien met je verhalen, zoals Tijs al zegt: het was me een eer die te lezen! Ik kijk naar onze avondjes in Maastricht, Amsterdam of Utrecht uit die hopelijk komend jaar nog vaker zullen optreden!

    Al het beste en welkom terug in Nederland straks!

    Sandor

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