And welcome back to this dusty section of my ever-changing website. Senior year has been hectic to say the least; two thesis films, one television script, dozens of school tours given, hundreds of tears (happy and sad, stressed and relived) and one extremely inconvenient car accident later, I finished my college career.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. If you know me, you know my opinions about college in general have been indifferent; my freshman year was a rough adjustment period but my friends are the reason I kept going. Them, and the terrifying idea that I would be labeled an absolute failure and despise myself if I dropped out of school.
This love hate relationship made the years absolutely fly by. I can remember nearly every detail about my first week of school; moving in and shaking Rachel’s hand because we didn’t know each other at all (still hilarious at how awkward that interaction was). I remember her asking if I wanted to get ice cream but saying no because I wanted to call Erin and cry together. I remember unpacking and listening to “What If” from If/Then and crying some more. The next night we walked to CVS so we could print pictures for our wall and saw a man squatting in the road with his pants down. “Oh..huh that’s..interesting. Haha welcome to New York!”
I wore a blue button down and white shorts to the first day of orientation, and sat on the bleachers (the only time I actually sat in that gym, until 4 years later I was picking up my cap and gown). Kevin was the first person I talked to and I was SO excited I finally met someone in the film program. I remember walking to class with him and having no idea how to answer his question : “What’s your favorite lens?”. I had bought my camera literally two months beforehand. He said his was a 50mm, so I agreed.
I remember sitting in a classroom we’d never have class in again, because our new film classrooms weren’t ready yet, and getting Ed and Cliff confused because they were sitting next to each other. I remember shaking Emily’s hand and introducing myself as “Victoria” and “Tori”, and saying my favorite movie was Tree of Life because I thought that made me sound more sophisticated.
I remember hurrying down the hallway in Nagler to my room after class because I somehow had a HUGE black pencil mark down my nose, and running into MT while I was struggling to open the door. I said “Haha hiiii” and she smiled and said “Hey” and I was mortified my face looked like I crawled through the dirt.
I remember waiting for the elevator in the B lobby for a night class and Haley coming up to me saying “You live on the 8th floor in Nagler right!!”. I admired her ability to start a conversation with a random person by the elevators just by the slight recognition of a person from the bathroom. We took the escalators to class because the elevator was taking too long.
Then all of a sudden the six of us are sitting in our living room, decorating our graduation caps and watching High School Musical 3, me biting the inside of my cheek to keep from crying at the song at the end of the movie “All together, makes it better. Memories that last forever. I want the rest of my life to feel just like my, high school musical.” So cheesy but WOW relatable in that moment.
All in all, even though school was overwhelming sometimes, I loved it. I never remember saying “I can’t wait to graduate”. I wasn’t counting down the days to graduation like I was in high school. I walked to my last day of production class with my heart dragging on the sidewalk, hoping I didn’t cry in front of everyone. And the next day, I turned in my last paper ever (titled “The Political Year of Women”) and cried walking away from the classroom.
I’ll miss the every day routine, the schedule I’d fall into, the different classes and projects and professors I learned from. I keep saying I don’t know how my brain will function without being forced to write papers (and I’ve written QUITE a few). Eventually, I’ll miss the 3 page breakdown of a film, analyzing the comparisons between characters and the time period they live in. I’m scared I’ll lose that creative drive without my friends and professors pushing me to do my best work.
So far I have been officially graduated for a month and a day, but it feels much much longer. I’m not sure what’s next and that’s scary. We shall see.
Thank you to everyone who made these last four years the actual best years of my life.
“After 3 years of writing, 1 years of shooting, 4 years of reshooting and 2 years of editing, I have finally completed my movie.” (Michael Scott)