Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 23:09
Yesterday, I woke up to a message that made my entire day.
“I AM ALIVE.”
That was it. And if you also have friends that are currently abroad in other countries, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Of course, subsequent blue bubbles popped up on my screen: “It’s been so crazy,” “what a whirlwind,” “love and miss you already,” etc.
Exactly the messages you expect to get from someone who just flew across the Atlantic for the first time in their life. After seeing the hundreds of photos on Facebook, the status updates about whatever cliff they just hiked or new profile picture featuring whatever exotic animal they just held, you could probably write the personal messages yourself.
But that doesn’t make those few, spare little words (or hey, virtual novels, if you’re lucky) any less treasurable.
So, a question to those of us in Chestnut Hill:
What are you doing here?
Seniors, you’re lucky. Your entire grade is collectively back on campus for the first time since May of 2011. Cheers to taking over MA’s every Tuesday.
As the study abroad fair wrapped up last night, sophomores are currently mulling (read: flipping out) over their travel plans for the upcoming year. Don’t fret—the world is your oyster. You’ll figure it out.
Freshmen: congratulations on getting your footing here at BC. You’ve now learned your way around campus, gotten the hang of your classes, and weaseled your way into a Mod. The best is yet to come.
So, juniors, that leaves you. Your best friends are in places you’ve only ever heard of. Your Instagram featured three different filtered pics of the London Bridge today (example provided by my roommate—this actually happened). The temperature has already dropped below 50 degrees and it’s mid-September.
What are you doing here?
Well, let me tell you about what I’m doing here. I write this at 12:43 a.m. on a Tuesday night, curled up in flannel pajamas in my campus dorm, munching on stale Cheerios. My day began with a discussion of the final act of Hamlet in my 9:00 a.m. Shakespeare class. That same day did not end until my fourth and final class adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
I will most likely (read: really should, but probably won’t) spend the majority of this upcoming weekend writing papers.
My hot plans for Saturday night? Watching Tristan and Isolde with my suitemates.
And you know what? I’m pretty happy about all of the above. What am I doing here? Trying to make the most of it.
South Africa, Australia, the UK—all those places will be around after your undergrad years are long gone.
For those of you going abroad in the spring, I honestly feel bad for you. You either have to spend your semester on the Heights counting the days until you get to leave, or counting the days until you have to leave. Or both. While a worthwhile option for many, it seems like a cruel and unusual way to spend time as an upperclassman.
For those of you here all year, I hope you can love this place for what it is. Because the BC Bubble looks a lot different when half of the people who make up your world suddenly aren’t there anymore. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a place to love.
Get more involved. Meet new people. Stay just busy enough—so that missing whoever, wherever they may be, may become a fleeting thought instead of a gnawing in your stomach. Or, step back. Take some time for yourself. Breathe.
Whoever you are, whatever it is you do, however it is you do it: find out why you’re here.
And to those of you abroad, keep sending those “I’m still alive” messages. They tend to make our day.