I have decided to jump on the bandwagon with a cliché post about the last day of school. If it doesn’t seem cliché to you, then you must be fairly well removed from the University of Toledo College of Medicine class of 2015. Otherwise, you would have seen the plethora of blog posts, status updates, tweets and pictures on Instagram. Today marks the end of an era for us – can you tell we’re excited?
For me personally, this is a mile marker in a 21 year journey. As I was quite advanced as a child, my mother started me in preschool at the age of 2. (She might not use the words “quite advanced”… perhaps she would say something along the lines of “highly energetic” or “shy to the point of a social disorder” or “she and her brother painted the kitchen floor green”….) For whatever reason, I was forced out of my “comforting” home environment into the world to obtain knowledge.
It didn’t seem like a big deal then. I didn’t know I was embarking on such a long journey. It was a minor occurrence. One day, my parents took me shopping bought be a fancy bag that I could wear on my back, some crayons and started talking about all the fun I was going to have. In my opinion, it’s a trick - your parents make it seem exciting: “A bus full of other kids is going to come, and carry you off to this awesome land where your time will be filled by coloring, naps and snack time. It’s going to be great, promise.”
Perhaps it’s because they are just trying to keep it together themselves... They don’t explain the gravity of the situation, because they are struggling to face it on their own. After all, they are adults – they have seen how this story ends. They know that upon boarding that yellow bus (with 38 other screaming children and a sole, outnumbered adult whom they pity deeply), you are embarking on a journey that will ultimately change who you are, how you think, where you live, what you do. It must be a pretty emotional moment… That’s why they don’t tell you that it won’t always be crayons and graham crackers. They don’t tell you that the courses get harder, the teachers get more demanding, and that eventually, even nap time is taken away!
It’s a one-way road. You can’t exactly avoid it. So, as a kid, you accept blindly and hop on. Even though the whole idea seems a bit absurd at the time.
Have you ever been on a long car trip where you get onto a new road and your GPS announces “Continue for 243 miles.”. You can almost hear her heaving a sigh of relief… “Well, I got this girl on track, time for a coffee break”.
My point is that as children, we missed the beginning. There was no momentous moment where we realized that our path would be pretty stable for the next 20-some years. That’s why we are so excited about the ending! For my entire life up to this point, my time has been relatively centered around a schedule of classes, list of requirements and pending exams. Suddenly, I’m in a post class-schedule world… full of freedom, hope and possibility!
Well, no. That’s inaccurate… it’s full of studying, more studying, and preparing for school to resume after I take my boards exam in June.
All in all, I haven’t accomplished much with my words here… I hoped to convey the feeling that my whole life is about to change, that I’m excited, that it’s surreal, that I’m a little nostalgic. Of all these mixed emotions I feel, the most unlikely one is bubbling to the surface… I’m going to miss shopping for school supplies each fall.
When I was two, I was scared. I held my mom’s hand and I looked back at her, just to make sure she was really positive this was where I was supposed to be. I am twenty-three now, and I’m still scared. My parents support me so much, but they’re not close enough to hold my hands. It’s okay though, cause at least now, I am positive that this is where I am supposed to be.