The other night, I spent an hour flipping through my sorority’s scrapbooks.
The old, yellow pages were tearing free of their bindings, the edges crumbling at my fingertips. Engagement announcements, event invitations, newspaper clippings, pictures. The oldest item in the bin was a yearbook from 1925.
Flipping through the pages, captions like “Our graduating seniors” and “Greek Games ‘79” brought up something like nostalgia, or maybe more like melancholy. The years of the scrapbooks felt a millennia away. The long, straight, center parted hair, the Farrah Fawcett volume, the blow-dried bangs, the texture and height. I loved it. I got lost within the pages. It brings a sense of calm for me, maybe because it gives me something else for my mind to fixate on.
I thought about how my scrapbook for my final year of college might look. Or, more likely – What do I want it to look like?
I’ve been thinking about the concept of graduation and “the real world” a lot lately. We spend so much time waiting for things, that we take for granted the present moment. We don’t appreciate the moments that we’ll one day reflect on as the “good old days”. I know this is in now way a break through, or even remotely unique, but I find that the concept has been particularly present in my life as I stare down the barrel at the end of college.
I’ve become aware of that in my day-to-day soul searching. Taking pictures before a night out, thinking I’ll look back on this one day, or dancing at OTIS knowing this is one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had. It usually only lasts a second, the moment of clarity, and then it’s gone.
It sounds cliché, reiterating the same concept of “live in the moment” and that type of advice. I just didn’t think much of it until I realized it was starting to apply to me. Getting older is scary, and as much as I waited to be in my twenties, I wish I spent my time enjoying the age I was.
It’s a strange concept to think about, but I’ve noticed that in my journal recently I’ve been writing as though I am waiting for my future self to read it. I like describing the moment, and my reality. I want to be able to flip back and remember how it felt to be 22, and trying to figure out what to make of myself.
I’ve been writing a lot about graduating, probably because the concept is so scary and foreign to me. Unlike high school, which I was more than grateful to leave, college has such a unique and special place in my heart. We’re almost halfway done with the school year, and then I’ll be an alum. I find myself tearing up when I realize some things are my last as an undergrad. Last first day of class, last retreat, last halloweekend. I took them for granted and now I am finally learning to be truly present.
I’m setting a goal for myself to spend more time appreciating my last few months of college. I want to solidify these memories so I can look back on them with fondness, rather than regret. I have been doing more things that scare me, and I have loved the outcome.
I’m starting to get excited about how my scrapbook will look by the time I graduate.