Saturday, January 7, 2012

Graduating Early (on Facebook)

My friends and I were accidentally graduated from Macalester on New Year's Eve...on Facebook. It turns out that when you tell Facebook you're in the Class of 2012, it declares you graduated as the clock strikes midnight and 2011 becomes 2012. Needless to say, we were all shook up (although eager to receive some early graduation presents), because we aren't yet ready to leave Macalester.

People have already started talking about graduation. My parents have bought their plane tickets and made their hotel reservations. My mom has asked mom questions like, "Where will you want to eat dinner on May 11th?" to which I have responded, "How could I possibly know that? Stop making me think about graduation."

Seniors are getting excited for next year, applying to grad school, finding summer internships, and networking with alumni. I have emailed Mary from the Career Development Center seven drafts of cover letters since finals ended, and, bless her heart, she has responded to each with useful comments. Each time one of my friends applies to another grad school or is offered a job, there are celebrations and congratulations.

Yet I, for one, will be incredibly sad to leave Mac.

I still live with Lorin, my roommate from freshman year. Our school ID photos look creepily alike, and freshman year we thought it was hilaaarious to be matching. (It wasn't.)

We lived on the 4th floor of Turck Hall. It was one of those cliche college experiences where people from around the country and around the world come together to create an amazing community. My sleep schedule shifted from high school's midnight to 7, to 4am to 10am, with many naps throughout the day, because all my favorite people on my floor would stay up til the wee hours of the morning in the lounge, doing homework and having popcorn fights and the like. I loved returning to my dorm, knowing that at any time of the day or night I would run into someone I loved. Maybe Kerry would be recording another song she wrote, or she and Lillie would be working on another song for our floor's makeshift band, the Turck 4ce. Maybe Will would be trying to surf on pizza boxes down the hallway, and Dustin would be trying to make sure Will didn't break his ankle. Maybe Oleh and Maya would be trying on outfits for our floor's next intramural basketball game.

Turck 4 was an amazing place to live. Not only do I still live with my freshman year roommate, but most of my closest friends are from Turck 4 and still live with other Turck 4 folks. The apartment (which we call The Teat - because it is above the Tea Garden) is like a new version of the Turck 4 lounge. Patricia, Dustin, and Patrick live there, Maya basically lives there, too - there is always someone from Turck 4 there to stop in and say hello to on my way home from campus.

We had a Turck 4 reunion a couple months ago, and it was one of the best nights of the semester. Here are Lorin and I in front of our old room, being nostalgic and such.

It will be weird to move away from St. Paul, strange to have a roommate other than Lorin, and sad not to have three meals a day with friends that I love, but we are all eager to be entering the next stages in our lives and (don't tell my mom!) we are excited for graduation. Mainly I can feel excited instead of devastated about leaving Mac because I know I will stay in touch with many of these people that I have been friends with for four years. Even though Facebook might try to kick us out of school early, it will also help us keep in touch. (It will even allow us to nag each other about coming to college reunions!)

- Emma Cohen '12