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Letter from the Editor

The Seven Stages of Grief for May Graduates

by Christian Diaz, News Editor

I’m graduating in May (if I pass statistics anyway) and a quarter of the semester is now past. Someone hold me.

It’s true, I have been working impatiently for several years to be able to say that I’m almost done, but when the words jump off my tongue I can’t pin down what they mean.

It’ll come before you know it, my parents tell me. Que rapido se pasan los dias.

My graduating friends tell me to stop talking about it.

I think it’s because we’re in the first stage of grief: shock and denial.

No more late night bonfires, or early morning smiles crossing the bridge? No more fire alarms going off at midnight in Schafer C where we sit on the picnic table and talk about how cold it is and how people who have nothing to say to each other usually talk about the temperature?

Soon we will be in stage two: pain and guilt.

It’s true. We are leaving Wilson. What will we complain about in the real world? Is there oh my god, SO much homework on the other side? I wish I had joined the fine woodworking crew. I wish I had gone on that service trip to Alabama, taken a class with Laura Vance or Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa with Christy Carwile, joined the chorale and majored in Economics. I’m going to miss conversations on the swing at three in the morning.

Then comes anger and bargaining.

I will work so much harder if I just stay another semester. I will never flick cigarette filters on the ground or shop at Walmart. I will never skip class to go swimming again, or waste a Saturday night sweating glitter on the dance floor, only to stumble drunk into the woods afterwards, singing We Shall Overcome. I’ll go to all the basketball games and hoot for my team.

Next is depression, reflection, loneliness.

I will never meet so many interesting and friendly people again. I will even miss the cascading cup game at Gladfelter. Will life ever be this fun again, so full of offensive jokes, milk spurting from our nostrils onto the dining table? Who will I talk to about how sad it is that Hindi farmers are committing suicide because they can’t afford to pay back their loans for 1000 American dollars? Will I do the same when my student loan bills arrive in the mail, along with my subscriptions to AdBusters and Cosmo? Will it be just as sad?

Finally the upward turn of grief.

Life outside the bubble won’t be so bad. I’ll be able to eat late at night again. I won’t have to be so quiet during sex. Private bathrooms. Television. A decent internet connection. Maybe I can handle real life, with all its blessed opportunity for distractions.

Then reconstruction and working through.

I’ll find an epic job saving the environment while simultaneously reeling in corporate interest in Washington. I’ll move into a small wooden box that leaves no carbon footprint, where I will tutor children and teach them to be active global citizens with a moral conscience. That’s what I’ll do! I’ll adopt dozens of children and brain-wash them into feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick. That’s what Jesus would do!

Finally, there’s acceptance and hope.

Yeah, the past years have been tiring, sometimes depressing but they’ve also been a riot. It’s probably true that I’ll never meet as many amazing people in one place again, but hey, I can be one of those graduates that never leaves.

Though it will be a few months before we walk on stage, cheers to the graduating class of 2012. We might be the last, if the Mayan prophecies are true.


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