Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two years ago today...

Permit me to bore you with tales of old today.

I got out of bed at about 7am, but had been awake since earlier.  I had only gotten about five hours of sleep, and it was very difficult to do so.  All night, I tossed and turned, but when the sunlight started streaming through the windows of Rubenstein D16, that was it.

After having showered and dressed in black pants and a maroon shirt (with a gold tie, of course), I zipped up my black robe and put on my hood.  Not long after that, I put my very tight and uncomfortable cap on my head, grabbed my camera, and was ready to walk out with my roommate.  We were to line up on Linden Lane at 8am -- at least, that's what BC told us -- but having arrived right on time, I knew we were some of the first people there.

For about an hour, I wandered around on Linden Lane, seeing people I hadn't seen in a while, including old roommates.  Every few minutes, random people would come up to me and say "can you take our picture?"  I did that kind of thing for some groups not only in front of Gasson Hall (which was under construction and not looking in top form) but along the procession route.  A popular pit stop for pictures was in front of the St. Ignatius Loyola statue near Higgins and Cushing (the academic building, not the Newton residence where I once lived).  Of course, I was in some pictures, myself.

We all walked into Alumni Stadium to Pomp and Circumstance (that's what I remember, anyway) and I was seated at around the 20 yard line of the north end zone.  We listened to seemingly endless speeches, though the commencement address by David McCullough (historian and author) was decent.  A prior BC class had gotten the Secretary of State and my brother the year before at Holy Cross got the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so I felt a little slighted, but it wasn't a bad speech.  Of course, I wasn't really paying attention because of the mood I was in that day.

After the main ceremony, there was a brief intermission while the non-Arts and Sciences people left and we found our seats alphabetically.  My name was spelled out phonetically on an index card on my chair.  My last name is mispronounced by virtually everyone, so this was one occasion where I would prefer it not to be the case.  [As an aside, I had one very...interesting roommate who would intentionally mispronounce my last name because he thought his version sounded more correct.  Actually, I had two former roommates like that.  I would live with neither gentleman ever again and I assure you, both were so similar that they just couldn't stand the sight of one another.  I could write a book on some of the guys I lived with, but I digress.]

I was called, walked across the stage, shook hands with some guys, and went back down.  I went to a table where they handed my diploma but unlike everybody else, they did not give me a plastic cover to protect it from the rain.  I ended up having to shield my very expensive piece of paper under my robe as I went back to my seat.

By this point, my family wanted to leave.  They called me on my cell phone during the name-reading and yelled at me to get up out of my seat and walk out.  I did not really want to do that, but after some threats from my older brother, I took my diploma and left Alumni Stadium a Boston College graduate.

I returned to Rubenstein D16 that afternoon.  Now was the time to finish packing and load up the van to go back to New York.  I had to say goodbye to people to whom I wasn't ready to say goodbye, and I had to turn in my key and lock up.  I hopped into the car and I pulled off of campus.  To this day, that moment remains one of the most depressing of my life.

That night, I got back home and unpacked certain things (two years later, there are still some boxes in the basement which I never bothered to reopen).  I set up my computer, sat at my desk, and stared at a black screen.  All I could think was "now what?"  That is going to be a lot of the Class of 2010 this time next week -- thinking about what their next move will be.

That was on May 19, 2008.  I am still thinking about what the next move will be.  I graduated in some of the worst possible economic times and in pursuit of one of the most difficult, ridiculous fields where you have to be related to or sleeping with your potential employer to get a job.  That was my mistake.  Things have never quite been the same since I left Boston College, and I've always wished that I could go back -- damn you for not having a communications graduate program.  I'd have been all over that, as Cosmo Kramer once said, "like stink on a monkey."  Indeed, it is not to be.

Adulthood is no fun.  Working is no fun, and not working can be even less fun.  If you're still there, perhaps enjoying your senior week, make every moment count.  I can assure you, it's never coming again.


  1. Consider yourself lucky that your graduation was at Alumni. It rained on my graduation so they moved the ceremony inside Conte. It was a disaster, considering every grad only got two tickets to the ceremony.

  2. It was sunny for most of my proceedings, but it started to rain right around the time I got my diploma. I think that was somehow symbolic.

  3. Absolutely one of the worst moments of my life was driving off of campus for the last time after graduation. Bawled like a baby.