AJ Worsley ’22
The end of April feels a lot like the end of the world when you’re in your final year of college. It’s not long until the student discounts fade away. Spotify returns to ten dollars a month. Unidays gets deleted from my phone. Netflix is…still raising their prices with no signs of implementing a student discount.
Graduation is just a month away. We picked up our cap and gowns last week and I lay in bed all day after. It never really feels like it’s going to end when it’s just beginning. You forget cap and gown pickup is even a thing when you’re a freshman and your orientation leaders are walking you from one building to the next showing you around the campus that very quickly became home.
It goes by even faster when over a year and a half was interrupted by a pandemic that led to your entire college experience being transitioned to Zoom, an app we’d all come to collectively hate.
The worst part of the end of April is the impending doom, the weight on your shoulders, the light that seems to be getting bigger because you’re getting closer to it. The worst part of the end of April is doing homework and overhearing a nearby group of friends talking about their acceptance to their dream grad school, and the rising juniors to your left talking about going abroad next year, or the rising seniors talking about their internships, all with futures and goals. And it’s a beautiful time but an envious one when you accept that your education here is ending. Whatever is next for all of us, PC will begin to feel like a childhood home we’ve all moved out of: a home we sometimes drive by and recollect the different drunken memories we shared at certain spots on campus.
The end of April is filled with attempts at soaking it all in to compensate for the Zoom year. It’s filled with little sleep and running on the highs of doing the worst assignments because these are the last assignments. Finals have a whole new meaning. It’s filled with “sure, I’ll go out tonight,” even though you don’t want to, because there are so few opportunities left to do so. This means going to McPhails and drinking on a Tuesday, not because you’re an alcoholic, but because there is a new sense of urgency to hanging out with your friends. This means attending every event you see advertised at the stairs near Dunkin’. It means 222 Nights turns into 22 Nights.
The weather is getting warmer and walking through campus feels like a treat again. The people are wearing shorts and t-shirts and overwhelming Canada Goose jackets are nowhere to be found. The lawns are a luscious vibrant green that can’t help but remind you that so much of your tuition goes into landscaping. The walkways feel different when you’re a senior and it’s April. You notice the cracks in every brick and you begin to appreciate them. But walking through campus at night is even more rewarding. The gooseneck lighting feels brighter. Students are practicing their sports. High school always ended when the sun was still up, but high school never felt like home. Club meetings are at seven and eight and no matter how busy I am, it’s impossible to forget May 22.
And it’s hard to say goodbye to a place you called home, even if it was just for four years. These walkways became my neighborhood, and nothing outside the stone walls along Eaton Street mattered. Every tree, every squirrel, every building on campus looks back at you this time. Your headphones play “Where’d All the Time Go?” by Dr. Dog and the statue of the Veritas flame urges you to look at it a little bit longer every day. And since the weather is getting warmer, perhaps grab a blanket and a laptop. Have a picnic on Slavin Lawn, alone or with some friends. Bring a camera. Document it. Document it all. You are living through your memories right now. Go to one last party even if it is your first because it is only too late once you’ve crossed the stage and moved the tassel to the left. The end of April means basketball season is over, and even though I’ll never watch a game from the student section again, “You Belong With Me” will play in my head any time I enter the Dunk. The loans will kick in soon and the student discounts will be long gone, but no amount of tuition could cover these memories, these people, this place. The end of April means writing one last piece for The Cowl.