Dear "That Knot" in My BC Senior Stomach

Dear “That Knot in my Stomach,”

You first appeared at the beginning of September when I realized this was my last time moving into a Boston College dorm, but easily dissipated as I was relieved to have finally settled in, be on the top of the totem pole and easily welcomed into my friends’ Mods. Then the “lasts” started rolling in: Last Homecoming, Last Halloween, Last home football game…you get the picture. I could feel the tears welling up, but tried to not let them flow.

My parents kept asking about the job search and I will admit I kept putting it off. The knot wasn’t creating that much discomfort in me because I was in that ever-popular state of denial about graduation. To me, the realities of post-grad life remained “Pending…” as my concerns for senior year were ever present and fully embraced. Of course I was doing the “job search,” but my heart wasn’t fully in it and when I did invest a lot of time and effort, a sense of nostalgia came over me. I did not want to leave Boston College. Sure I wanted all of the exams, papers and late nights spent studying to end, but the comfort, memories, and conversations here at BC are something I am still not ready to let go.

Second semester came and you started to build in size. I almost sound like I am going through nine months of pregnancy, but I am hoping graduation isn’t as painful as child birth…despite how emotional and dramatic I do get. We had horrible weather, but that did not stop us seniors from getting cozy and truly bonding with each other. 4-time Beanpot champs, 100 Days Dance, Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day were all part of my March Madness; they were balanced out by reality checks known as interviews, resumes and Linkedin. Thanks for those!

Of course you quickly appeared when I had the constant questioning of “What are you doing after graduation?” coming my way. You also liked to sneak your way into those emails from the Senior Week committee reminding us to buy tickets and the email from Student Services asking us to check our name pronunciation for commencement. Some may not have noticed you, but I didn’t even have to read between the lines to know you were present. But I fooled myself into thinking you were just like indigestion; you would pass…

Well it is finals week, I’ve already experience several tears and you, knot, are here in full force. I can’t fully explain what you mean, I just know you are here and I really don’t know when/if you will go away. At times I want to scream in joy and then there are times I want to break down in tears. I look around the Quad, which I have walked through thousands of times, yet you appear in me and make me want to stop and stare, even in the rain, for one last time.  I am excited to graduate and to start the next chapter of my life with my own responsibilities. Although I have yet to nail a job down (yes I am admitting this), I know with my BC education and perseverance that something will come my way. I hope to stay in Boston so I don’t have to let that part of my identity go just yet. The thing is, right now all I have is hope. Over my past four years at BC, no matter how much hope I had, I also had a sense of comfort from the Heights to rely on. But now what?

I want to leave, but I don’t want to leave. I knew this was coming, but it doesn’t feel real yet. Time will keep going and my dorm in Edmonds will be occupied, seat in the library replaced and drinks at MA’s had without me being there. Am I envious? Am I content? What am I so nervous for when I know that I can handle it? This is so hard to tell…

You are basically tied up emotions. I am anxious/nervous/excited and grateful for everything I have in my life right now. As Senior Week approaches, I know you will only grow tighter and more constricted in my stomach. Alcohol can’t numb you, moments with my friends only strengthen you, and the moment I get my diploma may not even untie and relinquish you. How strange is it that I have yet to be able to fully accept the “Congratulations” that are already coming my way because it doesn’t seem real yet. I know why you’re here in me: it is because senior year is coming to a close, but the whole Class of 2014 graduation seems like an experience outside of myself. Acceptance is coming, I know it, but this is something I am patient about.

I guess I cannot be completely angered or frustrated by you tangled-up tie in my stomach right now. As someone who looks at the “glass half-full,” I should actually be grateful for your presence because it is normal for someone to feel this way at times in his or her life. If you, knot, are making yourself at home in my fellow classmates’ stomachs, I want to reach out to those classmates and ask them to follow my lead on this mentality…We have this knot because we have had an amazing time here at BC and don’t want to let these memories go. We feel caught up in respecting and holding onto our college experience while still fully embracing a life full of excitement still ahead of us. We are so lucky to have such an unbelievable past and amazing future still ahead as well as wonderful friends to support us. Sure we may not be able to knock on their door across the hall with a box of wine, block of cheese in hand while still wearing our pajamas, but their support is ever present.

So knot, I am going to tolerate you. I am going to let you live in me as I fully enjoy my last two weeks as a BC student because you will go away at some point, but the time I had at BC will never leave me.

Tied up and True,

A Sentimental Senior


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