The beginning of the end. Today was my first day of the last two classes of my undergraduate career. As my classmates and I gathered into the room that we have had a class in together every semester, I began to feel a bit nostalgic. We all laughed and shared our winter breaks in a nutshell. I felt a bit overwhelmed with how many friends and acquaintances I have made in engineering over these four years. Little shy and quiet me, turned into a social butterfly of engineering. We are all so different yet tied together by our mutual suffering and countless nights staying up until 5 AM finishing a lab report or studying for an exam.
While I won’t miss my classes, I’m going to miss the camaraderie that came with a grueling academic atmosphere. When times were rough we banded together and got through it. It was rarely easy, in fact oftentimes I wanted to quit engineering and switch to an easier major. But having friends and classmates that were also going through the same thing with me made it so much easier.
We are all environmental engineers and my graduating class calls ourselves the “ENVE Crew”. Together we labor through projects, programming and seemingly impossible homework assignments, but when they are all done we go out and celebrate together. My school colleagues by day turn into jovial drinking buddies by night. Even in class we find ways to lighten things up. All of our professors are subject to endearing inside jokes and nicknames. After our lab course the females of our group would go out to the dining hall for stir fry Tuesdays, earning us the title of the “Ladies who Lunch”.
I’m going to miss these chums when I graduate. I imagine we will all go our separate ways, taking our jobs where they come and each of us landing in some different niche of the country. Our only linkage will be the fond memories of college and intermittent correspondence on Facebook. So even though I complain about how horrible school is and how graduation can’t come soon enough, I’m going to miss my ENVE Crew and all the times we shared. I want to make this semester count and spend time with them before we graduate and disperse to save the planet.
So as we gathered today in room 204, I couldn’t help but feel sad, that this would be our last first day of class. Our last time scoping out the new professor together, planning our engineering parties for the semester, looking forward to graduation….. But as I lamented the end, I noticed a trend. Our classroom jostling was no different than high school, and before that middle school. As I move on to the next section of my life maybe it will yield similar relationships. Maybe I’ll buddy up with some coworkers and we will share inside jokes and gossip about our boss. We’ll go out to lunch and reluctantly trudge back in to work when our hour is up. Although the transitions in life from one milestone to another seem like we are leaving a whole chapter behind, maybe we hold on to some of it and project it onto the future. I’m going to stay in touch with my classmates and friends the best I can, and open myself up to new friends and experiences. Hey, after all, it’s not over til it’s over!