You know the bittersweet feeling you get when you finish watching an entire series of a really good show? The feeling of sadness that it is over but the feeling of accomplishment and joy that you were able to come along on the journey to the end? That’s how I feel about my life right now.
As I write this column—the last piece I will ever write for The Sentry—I am coming to terms with the fact that my college career is coming to a close… that I will soon no longer be an employee of this newspaper… that this is where the story ends.
After the last episode of a series on Netflix, when the countdown to auto-play the next episode no longer exists… there is a moment of sadness and confusion. What do I do now? What show do I watch next? Do I really have to start over with something new? What if I don’t like the new show I pick and it is just a waste of my time? Will I ever connect with characters as much as I did with these ones?
After this moment, a decision is made and you start a new show with a sense of hope and excitement. Maybe you like the new show, maybe you don’t. If you don’t, you move on to something new until you find one you do like. The cycle starts again.
I’m at the point in my life where there is no more auto-play telling me my next move, leading me to my next episode. I am at the point where I have to choose an entirely new series to be a part of. I am sad to be leaving this story, but I am proud to have made it to the end and so excited for what is ahead.
I have been in The Sentry office every Tuesday and Thursday (and most other days) for the past four years. I have come to know the space and the people and have found a home and a family here. I have been through so much in this office that it feels strange that I will soon just be gone. However, where my TV metaphor kind of falls apart is that I don’t have to wonder what happens to the characters after this show is over. I don’t have to read fan fiction or wish I could call and ask how it’s going. Luckily, I know that I am leaving The Sentry in the most capable hands I know, and that even though my story is ending here, The Sentry’s story still has so much excitement ahead.
As for my college experience outside of The Sentry office, it feels like that TV show that is just so long that you can’t wait to get to the end of it, but somehow you know you will still be sad when it is over.
Looking back, I have accomplished so much over my four years on this campus, and regardless of how hard it was, how many hours I spent on homework, and how many sleepless nights of stress I had, I know I will look back on this time of my life fondly and be proud of all I have accomplished here.
Most days that I have come to school or gone to the office have felt quite ordinary when I was in them, so why does all my time spent here mean so much to me? Well, in the wise words of Pam Beesly in the finale of my favorite show (and the show I have watched most throughout my college career), “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things.” And though I have heard her say this quote many times, I have never understood it as fully as I do now.