Goodbye, Drake.

It’s the weekend before finals. The library’s packed. All the seats in the local coffee shops are taken. People poke their heads out of their books only to cross-reference something or nibble on their snack. Serious studying is happening.

And here I sit, at the kitchen table at the Drake, “studying.” While I suppose it’s true that I’m making progress – I’m making flashcards for my test on Wednesday – all I can really seem to think about is how soon this place will be gone.

Over the course of the year, I’ve often thought, “This is it.” While I’m still going to be in school for one more year – I’m getting my Master’s degree here – many of my friends won’t be. My brilliant friends at the Drake – all engineering students too – are graduating on Sunday. I’m ever so proud of them – they’re going on to do bigger and better things: work at a huge company, go to graduate school, get their PhD’s. And while I love it here and am happy that I’m staying, I feel like a piece of me is disappearing with them as they walk across the stage to get their diplomas this weekend.

Up until this point I’ve been successful at pushing it out of my mind. “Future Sarah can deal with it,” I’d say. “Right now I’m just going to enjoy each moment as it comes.” But a few nights ago, I realized that I am Future Sarah. There’s no putting it off; the inevitable is here. My friends are packing up their rooms, and soon, this won’t be their house anymore.

This house and these people have been my refuge, my strong place. I’ve laughed here, cried here, and spent countless evenings talking late into the night with some of my best friends. I’ve studied at this table, fallen asleep on the couches, cooked dinner for everyone in the kitchen I don’t know how many times. We’ve celebrated, we’ve mourned, we’ve goofed around and had the college experience of a lifetime. This house is more home to my than my own apartment, than probably anywhere in the world right now. And in a few short weeks, it will no longer be ours.

We can come back – we can drive by, wave to “The Drake.” But we won’t be able to stop by and watch Mad Men on the huge TV, or bake brownies together, or just say hi to our friends. This house will become someone else’s, will become more.

And that’s what I have to remind myself: as much as it feels like it now, this is not the end. This house will hold new life, and we as friends will evolve, too.

These next two weeks will be full of more smiles and more tears as we say goodbye. But this goodbye is not forever; it’s just for now. And I’m going to savor every second I have with this house and these people; I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.

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Cancelled Class = Writing Spree!

I just got informed that my Operations Research class has been cancelled this morning. While I definitely do enjoy OR, nothing can compare to the feeling of finding out you have an hour and a half of additional freedom than you had anticipated. Hurray! So I’m using that time to write… and then to watch Up in the Air.

Things are starting to look up again. Last week I hit a bit of a panicky slump with school and such overwhelming me. But now it’s all better. Or at least, it’s getting there. Things are falling back into place, my spirits are rising, and I’m feeling good as a person. I can feel the stress melting away. I’ve been putting in the effort I need to in homework and school, and it’s making me feel great. I also got to see my family this weekend, and Davis gave an amazing pep talk Saturday night about strength and growing as a person. I’m so grateful for all I have in my life.

I had the coolest experience on Sunday night. Or, well, it’s definitely up there. I was over at The Drake (which is Davis’s and my friends’ house) and it was cold and rainy outside – perfect conditions, if you ask me. We lit a fire in their awesome fireplace and all gathered around it to do homework. And it was wonderful. There were eight of us there: The Drake’s five residents, me, Jena (my friend Mat’s girlfriend, who’s super cool), and Dara (who I have written about previously, who’s one of our friends and is completely awesome). And it felt like family. It felt like home. Well, actually what it really felt like was the Gryffindor common room, which is too awesome for words and close enough to home for me. We talked and laughed and drank cocoa together, and it just felt right. I can’t say we were too successful at doing our work – we’re going to have to get better at that – but it was totally worth it.

(I wish I could put a picture of The Drake here… next time!)

Recently I’ve been listening to more folk-sy music, especially Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons. Oh, and “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Wow, are they good! They’re super chill and (as lame as this sounds) they speak to me. They’ve calmed me a bit and made me smile even more.

I really hope I’m not getting sick. Something seems to be going around, and I can feel it pacing, waiting to pounce, lurking out of sight. Please, immune system, don’t give in!

That’s really all I’ve got for now. Time to watch Up in the Air!

PS – This picture just doesn’t look right: http://www.oclumencia.com.br/galeria/albums/19/promocionais-odf-oclumencia_com_br_(11).jpg