Ready or not

Ready or not

May 8
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES
  

I just walked to my final class as an undergraduate student and to be honest I really thought it would be a different feeling. I thought I would feel liberated. I thought I would want to skip out of Greg Hall and throw all my old notes and homework assignments away. I thought I’d have a grin on my face from ear to ear that nothing could turn upside down.

Instead, it was quite opposite. I walked as slowly as possibly, gripped my Espresso Royale cup a little tighter, pulled my sunglasses down, and took in every beautiful part of that walk that I could.

I’ve never been a person who deals well with change, but I thought this would be a change that I’d be really excited about. I’ve got a great job to look forward to with John Deere, I’ve got an awesome new apartment, I’ve had a wonderful Illinois experience, and I’ve got all the tools to tackle the real world because I have a degree from the College of ACES.

However, I think in the last week I’ve discovered the real reason I’m not ready to graduate.

This place that I’ve called home for the last four years will never be the same again. I am positive that I’ll come back to alumni events, to sporting events, and maybe even with my own children on a college visit someday, but it will be different. This is the last time that all of my friends will ever live in the same place. This is the last time that I’ll be able to walk the halls of Mumford Hall and be known as an intern instead of an alum.

My friends and I will all go off to start our new jobs in different cities. It won’t be as simple as walking down the hall or sending a text to meet up. Catching up will require plane tickets, road trips, and real plans that don’t happen last second. Fashion advice will come via snapchat and facetime, I’ll look forward to those occasions where we’re all back together for weekends spent at friend’s weddings, and I guess I’ll have to get used to doing my own chores instead of sharing with roomies.

I know that all good things must end so that other good things can begin, but I never thought it would be this hard to leave my ‘home’ here in Champaign-Urbana.

There is about a week left until we’ll all walk across that stage and say goodbye. I’m going to enjoy every last second until I take that cap and gown off and officially become a proud alum. Representing the orange and blue in the ‘real world’ will be my next step on the road to graduation recovery.

Carlee Ellen and Madelyn