We will miss OU, but will OU miss us?

With less than a month until graduation, I feel as if I’m surrounded by nostalgia.

I’m resisting the urge to listen to cheesy classics like “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C and “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Greenday. Researching decoration ideas for my mortar board makes me want to find and hurt whoever wrote the quote “She believed she could so she did.” I could probably recite most of "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" by Dr. Seuss.

The general feeling pervading the senior class concerning graduation is sadness. We know how hard it will be to leave Athens and the friends we’ve made here. We’ve heard from countless alumni about how much we will want to go back to college. Athens is the best place on Earth, right?

Maybe, but I hope these aren’t the best days of my life. College shouldn’t be where we peak.

Now, I may live another 50 years and on my dying day say, “My years at OU were the best four of my life.” But I hope not.

The most educational days? The craziest days? The most stressful days? Those I could see being true.

But going to college should be a launching pad, not the final — or highest — target.

I’m not trying to diminish my experience here. As an OU student, I’ve had the great days, horrible days and every other kind of days. I’ve learned more than I ever have and lived more than I ever have. But I hope there’s more.

We should all want that. More than what we have and who we are.

Being a Bobcat is not the totality of who I am. I am temporary. OU is steadfast.

Our experiences and impact in a place are, for the most part, impermanent. Want proof? There has been an Odyssey article shared by many of my Facebook friends called “14 Things Only the OU Class of 2016 Understands.”

The article lists things uniquely experienced by the graduating seniors, like Jeff Brunch, old Ping policies and the amazing restaurant that was Rio.

When we leave, so will the memory of so many places, policies and people.

We will take them with us, away from Athens. Eventually, people's memory of our class will be gone too.

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Maybe that’s part of what makes graduation so sad. We will miss OU, but very soon, OU won’t miss us.

So the nostalgia makes sense. We want to cling to the memories and the experiences we’ve had here. But nostalgia also tends to sugar coat the past. It’s not all real anymore.

The reality of adulthood is about to smack us in the face. And there’s no doubt in my mind there will be days I will want nothing more than to be back in a cramped dorm room eating instant Mac & Cheese and complaining about exams.

But on the other days, on the better days, I hope they turn out to be the best.

Erin Davoran is a senior studying journalism. What's your favorite Athens' bar? Tweet her @erindavoran or email her at ed414911@ohio.edu.


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