I attended college in central Texas, so the torrential rains we normally enjoy in April always trigger memories of writing final essays and essay exams each spring semester. I lived in the same room on the third floor of my dorm for three years, and as the skies let loose, I’d sit at my desk, contemplating Samuel Johnson’s homages to the satires of Juvenal or the effects of the Contagious Diseases Acts on the literary depiction of so-called fallen women, and watch as some of my schoolmates would utterly destroy the knoll outside my window by transforming it into a disgustingly muddy Slip N Slide. I would think, (1) How do they have the time to do that? (2) How are they not destroying their clothes? (3) Scratch that—those shorts have definitely seen their last. (4) Did that dude just break his arm? (5) Should I call someone? (6) That grass is so not going to replace itself. (7) We should really pay our groundskeepers more.
We learn so very much in college, but those kinds of mundane moments—not to mention the serendipitous encounters, laughably bad errors in judgment, and heartfelt conversations—stay with us long (long, looooong) after we graduate. I know many of you are entering that phase of the school year that’s filled with final presentations, projects, papers, and exams, and I wish you the best as you make your way through an inevitably stressful time. You can do it! Believe in your dreams! But I hope that you’ll also take the time to relish those moments that you’ll forever associate with this stage of your life. Take it from this 270-year-old: they’re the kind of memories that can buoy you up and bring a smile to your face years and decades from now.
Also, please don’t go tear up any sodden lawns with your keesters. Seriously, they really don’t like it when you do that.