Well, there you have it: another ending is upon us. Whether it’s the end of a turbulent freshman year or walking to the end of the platform and collecting a diploma, the academic year has ended. That’s it. Bye.
Or so you think.
For some reason a rush of emotions begins to swell and suddenly a personal flip book of the past year plays in your mind. The thoughts of parties, your first or last Dandelion Day, your professors’ witty banter, even the liveliness of online group chats make you feel nostalgic for the place that you now consider (deep DEEP DEEP down) your home. You really don’t want to say bye, do you?
As much as you love to hate exams, crowds at lunch, and cold weather, you don’t want to leave this dysfunctional relationship. Don’t imagine a break-up, think of it instead as a break. Summer break.
Summer is the perfect time to reflect on all the lessons you’ve learned, like how to navigate the troubles of tertiary education, check back on the various parts of yourself that grew, changed, and evolved thanks to your myriad experiences in Rochester. While I soak up the sun and heat in sweet, sweet Jamaica, I think about lying down on the quad the first few days after winter. It was after I’d faced the worst of Rochester weather that I came to appreciate the “great” weather I first felt in late August and now again in the spring.
Rochester is an acquired taste, you see. You need to get through the worst before you can see the beauty of this four-year experience.
While I am still suffering from a slight case of PTSD from all my nights studying in Gleason, I miss the voices of all my friends pushing me through the fight of finishing the year. Whether it be the ones I ate Calio’s with at 4 am, or those in the Art/Music Library who engaged me with riveting discussions instead of studying, or even the few I countlessly watched at Q & I locking up the main library. I could create endless run-on sentences of my experiences this year, but to put it simply, I miss my Rochester family.
Friendships form so quickly in college. It hard to imagine that I’ll spend more time apart from my closest friends than the time I would have known them. You go from seeing some people every day, sometimes all day, to staring at your own two hands type away messages that don’t translate the same feeling of a face-to-face interaction. Thanks to social media, I can still keep in touch with all my lovelies. It’s definitely not the same but it’s better than looking at the ceiling.
I feel that the people I have met this year made the biggest impact on my Rochester experience. One of the highlights of the summer so far was the Lilac Festival, a city event that occurs usually during Rochester’s senior week. Luckily enough, one of the senior friends I met this year took me out to this magnificent festival at Rochester’s very own Highland Park. I was shown that despite living in Rochester for almost nine months, I never got the chance to explore the city. When I return, I’ll make it a priority to explore and discover the parts of Rochester that make the city so unique.
There is a lot to rejoice for with the end of school year, but just as much to reminisce on and look forward to next year. I hope to delve into all the things I miss and love about Rochester in this summer series.