Mariecar Mendoza

It is 1:01 a.m. and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” is blaring from my television. But it’s not Conan’s jokes that are keeping me awake, nor is it the screen’s glow or my computer’s hum.

It’s this darn thing: The goodbye. The adieu. The farewell.

I knew it was near; shoot, I cursed that it couldn’t come sooner. But now that graduation is only days away, my eyes are glued to my computer screen hoping letters will appear, come together and make sense of all that I have lived through in my journey – no, my odyssey – that is “the college life.” I mean, I don’t want to leave college without providing some words of wisdom to those who must continue contorting themselves to fit in those miniature torturing devices the university calls desks.

But to do so, I have to reflect on how I have reached this point in my life. Hmmm, how did I get here? Aww yes, I know: Family, friends, FAFSA and an understanding that for every hour you bust your butt for school equals two hours of having fun after school. I’m not trying to lure the Ferris Bueller out in everyone, nor am I recruiting for AA, I’m just warning every student after the class of 2006: You must have fun! Whether it’s a long, blurry night at Black Sheep or a belly-aching, sober night at Boomers, everyone needs to laugh and make memories. If you don’t, you risk spontaneously combusting.

Now, with that said, I exhale and think of my future with utter glee.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as scared as the next graduating senior, but I’m also insanely excited. In a matter of 11 days, I will be a full-fledged adult. I know I’ve got past many-a-bar’s velvet rope since I turned 21 in 2004, but now I’m going to pass a different kind of velvet rope; the kind where you flash that class ring to show you are a regular at “Club Alum.”

Sure, I will no longer have the comfort of knowing I have a safety net, but knowing I can potentially go splat all over the pavement if I fall gives me a surprising rush of adrenaline. Sounds sadistic, I know, but what a challenge! This is what my parents have dreamed for me, what I have been training for all my life, what Cal Poly has been preparing me for – this is my last curtain call for this one epic performance – and I am ready.

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