Colby Class of 2007 graduated today, and I made the trip up with my family to watch my two brothers shake hands with the president of the college and move their tassels from the right side of their face to the left. During the thirty-five minute litany of names (during which time the soon-to-be graduates at the end of the alphabet stood - something I remember all too well), I stood in the back, clapped for people I knew, and caught up with a few folks. It was nice to see so many familiar faces attending graduation (even if I did get a little sunburned).
Yesterday and today were full of graduation activities (namely, the music major reception yesterday and the ceremony today), and I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people. Every time I go up to campus I have a whole mixture of feelings. I realize that I miss the campus a lot, but I also realize that I'm glad that I've moved on. I miss taking math and physics and music classes, and hanging out in the seminar room on the 4th floor of Mudd, perched on my screen-less windowsill (with the window open, naturally). I miss seeing the sunrise from the CCF room after pulling an all-nighter with a friend. Mostly, I miss the people and the good times we had all had.
Thinking back, I wished I had taken more advantage of the relationships with people; in general, I took people for granted in undergrad. This isn't to say that I didn't value friendships, but that I, along with probably many others, always thought that things would stay the same, and that I'd keep in touch with people I was close to and whatnot. But jumping right in to school again after graduation changes things, and schoolwork and life in a new place with new people can complicate everything. Add major life change and a job or two to the mix and it really starts to get busy.
So I've resolved to be more intentional about my relationships with people. E-mails, letters, phone calls...because really -- people shape our lives, not institutions (be they educational or otherwise). I will always remember Colby for the people and the memories.