I’m graduating college on Friday.
For me, going to college has always been not a bucket list item, but as a friend of a friend calls it, a ‘life expectation’. I grew up in Westchester County and attended a school that spit out Ivy Leaguers like a conveyor belt at a factory assembly line. The question was never ‘are you going to college?’ but ‘what are your reaches and your safeties?’
My school was insane with the college push – we would walk by the glass-windowed offices of the guidance counselors everyday and by spring the windows were plastered with signs proclaiming all the colleges the seniors got into. The madness extended to the ubiquitous helicopter parents too. My best friend’s parents had her apply to over 30 schools!
But for many people, even attending a college is a huge item on their bucket list. My mother was the only girl in her family to go to college and my grandfather was the only one in his.
And in some sort of poetic irony, I ended up at the school that I went to summer camp at, that my mother attended, and that my high school graduation was held at. Strange, magnificent, animated, and of course “brick-ey” Purchase College.
that Purchase brick. (credit Danielle Villano)
It was a privilege to go to college. I won’t ever forget the homesickness of going three hours away to Albany and then even 20 minutes away to Purchase. Or the fun I had living above a Starbucks that took my meal plan (let’s get real, I lived in that Starbucks), or the adventures gallivanting around campus and meeting Purchase’s strangest students to interview for class. I won’t forget the late nights and inside jokes with my mafia, and our jungle growth chart in our apartment. Or dressing up like Mario Party on Halloween. Or the tribulation of the annoying bathroom that never worked in our apartment, and the kid who would stand outside late every night with the loudest, reverberating walrus laugh that permeated our thin walls. I won’t forget going across campus and always, always, always, seeing a friend and a smile. Most importantly, I won’t forget the amazing friends I made and the brilliant professors whose nourishing wisdom I drank up like a parched plant.
So congratulations, class of 2013. May our livers recover and our inboxes be flooded with job offers.
And to my fellow Purchase alumni, remember… stay weird.