Unfortunately, the party’s almost over. It’s 3 a.m., the RAs have been here twice, and a freshman with an Ignatius tattoo won’t stop playing “Wagon Wheel.”
A few of you are ready. You’re so over it: tired of immaturity and impatient for professional challenges.
You people are nerds, and this column isn’t for you.
Most of you aren’t ready. You’re not over it, and you shouldn’t be. Most of you fell in love here—with your future spouse, or the Jesuit worldview, or the soft serve machine in the dining hall—and it’s healthy to mourn loves lost.
Growing up? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Stay out late with your very best friends, and reprise the best of what you felt here. Remind Mallory that she knows the romantic history of every “Girls” character, but not what D, R, S, and W mean to the core curriculum. Remind Will that you borrowed his real clothes for the thrift shop party.
Commandeer the jukebox. Instagram until your phone explodes. Summon the courage to talk to a Theta.
Collige virgo rosas (which, Dr. Bilgere taught me, is Latin for #YOLO).
I know it sounds like I’m eulogizing revelry, but I’m not. This is serious. What you have now, and what you’ll miss most, is a transcendent sense of community and belonging. It’s been called, and I concur, the opposite of loneliness. It’s a world in which you were suddenly essential.
It’s a place that feels doomed without you this fall: to edit the newspaper; to run SUPB; and—okay, this is rude, but whatevs—Greek Week will be a disaster without your choreography.
Is there life after Warrensville? Yes, but not at first. You won’t feel essential right away.
You’ll no longer be the president of something. Or captain. Cabbie D won’t drive you to work. Your friends won’t live across the hall . . . but your mom will. You’ll wake up surrounded by little league trophies. You’ll start to Tweet about the weather.
The good news is you’ll take this sense of belonging with you. You’ll meet alumni who know your stories: FYS; painting the lion; walking home from Coventry (before iPhones).
You’re a click away from the people who helped write your stories: a Facebook post about missing Fat Chris; a text that only says, “bagel bagel bagel”; a Snapchat reminder that you’re still a total boss.
The good news is you’ll find the best of what you felt here: in meaningful work that consumes you and ideas that inspire you, but mostly in people. I hope you feel this place, like I do, when strangers are kind, people keep promises, and someone holds a door for a freakishly long time.
I hope you learned here how to be these people, and how to make others feel essential.