And the show continues on
As I was watching the final performance of the play I recently directed for Theatre Council, for the first time, I was able to watch and enjoy without any anxiety. It was because it was the end, the last show.
The sadness came after, after the set came down and everybody went home. I realized that I had done it. I had crossed everything off my list. You see, I created certain goals in my mind when I was a freshman of things I wanted to accomplish before I graduated, some legitimate, like directing, others silly, like playing in the snow on the Green, or moments I wanted to have, like celebrating my 21st birthday at Cryans, doing the Shot-Clock Challenge, etc. After the play was over, I realized that I had finished everything I had really wanted to do. And all of a sudden, it hit me: I was graduating.
And then the nostalgia set in: No more days on the Green, hanging around the Theatre, eating lunch in the Caf, heading to the library at 10 p.m., all those things I took for granted. I even got teary-eyed thinking that I wouldn’t be going to Cryan’s anymore.
I think the emotion of graduating won’t be from feeling like I missed out on opportunities. Instead, it’ll come when I remember the things I took for granted, mainly walking across the Green and seeing about five people I know, waving, saying hi, and moving along.
You realize things when something ends, like the fact that you made the right decision to go to a small college. While Seton Hall may sometimes lack the big-school-spirit, it provided me with a sense of camaraderie, a feeling akin to living in a small town and seeing old friends at the grocery store, except they were current friends and it wasn’t just at the Pirate Express. It’ll mostly be that feeling that I’ll miss, the sense of belonging to a place. I’ve felt that I was a part of something here in my major, my clubs, with my friends, and the class of 2011.
People keep reminding me that I’m going to graduate school and college isn’t over yet. But it certainly won’t be the same, because I doubt if I’ll be able to replicate the experience of being an undergrad: the wonder at being independent (sort of), the newfound confidence, and the moments with the people here. The thing I’ll miss most will simply be my classmates. Not running into friends and acquaintances … It really won’t be the same without that.
The only good thing about realizing all this now is that it’s just like the last show of my play. It’s that last performance where I can finally sit in the audience, look around, and take it all in. I can just smile and laugh and watch until the lights come down.
Because college has run its course, but the show must go on. It’s just going to be a new show.
Brittany Biesiada is a senior English and Theatre and Performance double major from South Amboy, NJ. She can be reached at email@example.com