The Scarlet

To My Fellow Seniors:

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Four years ago, I was in a weird state of nostalgic panic. High school was ending. We were all going our separate ways, to various colleges and programs all over the country and the world. There were people who I liked in high school who I have not spoken to since graduation. At the time, knowing that this would happen disturbed me greatly.

Retrospectively, though, it does not bother me one bit, and this is probably the main cause of my current state of ambivalence toward the whole graduating thing.

Maybe it’s because I’m planning on sticking around Worcester for a year or so after I graduate, but the supposed-to-be-horrifying concept of the Clarkie Diaspora is not alarming me to the extent that I feel like it should. A good number of my friends are going to go their separate ways, and there’s a handful of them who I will never see after May. While this is a sad thing, it has not yet made me sad.

Mark Z. Danielewski, in his novel House of Leaves (which is incredibly good, although I am not yet done with it), wrote that “maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of not knowing.” I’ve begun thinking of the college experience as a four-year period in which you learn to grow both intellectually and emotionally and learn to unpack both kinds of growth in terms of each other. The Clark experience has been the discovery process that Danielewski referred to that allows me to not panic about this uncertainty.

It’s one thing to recognize the finality of the situation and to appreciate it, but being afraid of May 18 is not going to make anyone feel better. We’ll get there when we get there, and until then, let’s embrace the uncertainty and the not knowing as much as we embrace the now.

Have a great last semester.


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To My Fellow Seniors: