Stuck In Limbo

As the term comes to an end here at the University of Oregon, I continually see similar posts on various social media sites. A Facebook status here. A tweet there. An Instagram picture of this. (And now) A blog post about that. People my age are all preparing to graduate. Some of my friends comment about how today is their last day of school ever and the 4 day weekend they have enjoyed all term is about to turn into a 4 day celebration. Graduation announcements are being sent out. Posters are being placed around campus congratulating the Class of 2012.

I feel like I should be showing some emotion. I feel like this is the time for me to get nostalgic. Yes, I am returning to the UO in the Fall to finish up some classes. It is more common than ever for students to come back for a term or even a whole year. But still. Graduation is approaching. I have said goodbye to two groups that were a major part of my college life, and am about to say goodbye to one more on Friday. Yet no emotion.

Am I a robot? Am I void of emotion?

I am stuck in limbo. I will graduate on Monday, June 18th. I will wear my cap and gown and walk with the rest of the Class of 2012. One week after that ceremony, I will be back in a classroom for 4 weeks of summer courses. It is my own fault, and I understand that. I take complete blame. Maybe I stretched myself too thin between extra curricular activities and school. Maybe math and science REALLY just isn’t my thing (I knew that before). But still. Shouldn’t I be feeling something right now? Is there something wrong with me?

Limbo is a terrible place to be. I have every symptom of Senioritis, yet I still have work to do. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, that tunnel is a few hundred yards away and I am running towards it at the speed of turtle. I recognize that I am no longer a part of  the student groups I cared so much about, but I am not sad. I should be sad, shouldn’t I!?

I have a Senior Bucket List to finish. I want to finish it now, while my friends are still here. But knowing that I have more time makes me unmotivated. “I’ll just finish it in the Fall.”

I know I am rambling, and I may not even be making sense to those reading this. But limbo is a terrible place to be.  You feel no emotion. You feel no motivation. You just sit there and watch everything spin around you. The one thing you feel is sadness and depression that you will not be joining your friends on the other side of graduation. The knowledge that when you throw your cap up in the air to signify the end of your education, it will be a lie.

I don’t even know what to say anymore. I sit here in my room which has become a war zone filled with papers, books and laundry, and I am only disappointed in myself. I should be celebrating right now. Instead, I am stuck in limbo.


One Response to Stuck In Limbo

  1. Katie says:

    First off – you are not a robot for not feeling emotional over graduation or leaving Pit/OTR. It just means you are ready. Everything good has its time, and usually people get sad or woefully nostalgic out of one thing: fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the next step. Fear of next year, next month, next week, the next day. Fear that the familiar to-do list of every day will no longer be there – you’ll have to create an entirely new one out of thin air. Fear that without the crutch of routine, you’ll fail.
    You are so extraordinary in that you are actually READY. You’ve got the self confidence, the direction, the vision, the purpose that sooooo many people of ALL ages lack. So there is no need to be sad. You’ll still see the people you want to see – just like when you graduated high school. And while 99% of your classmates are scared shitless of the “real world,” you know it is really not that daunting. It is a good thing not to be sad. It makes the transition easier when you don’t get stuck in the black hole of reminiscing and wishing for things to stay exactly as they are. And means you are strong enough for things NOT to stay exactly as they are.
    Second, DO NOT BE DISAPPOINTED IN YOURSELF. You have absolutely NO reason to be!!!! Are you freakin kiddin me?! You’ve accomplished more “outside-world” moments of awesomeness in college through your extracurriculars than many people accomplish in their lives. You made lasting change happen in many, many ways. You were on national TV. You saw the country. You worked with innovators and developed a lasting relationship with one of the biggest brands in the world. List goes on, of course….point being, you have NOT ONE SINGLE REASON TO BE DISAPPOINTED IN YOURSELF. So you have to stay and finish classes. When I was living here and commuting and had absolutely zero connection to my senior year, I treated my classes like my job. Every other day, I drove to class, sat there, drove home. Zero attachment. My only thought was “I must pass.” I did NOT want to do it, and definitely researched taking courses at CSUN, UCLA, anywhere that meant I could skip the 4 hours in the car per day. But not finishing at UCI would have been such a slap in the face to my whole college career. I started something at one place – somewhere I was SO excited to go just a few years earlier – you bet I was gonna finish there. Yes I’m a duck by association, but I’m an anteater at heart. It would’ve felt like a cop out not to finish there, or not to finish at all. Did I want to be sitting in Phonetics class or studying the mitochondria living in the rainforest? Hell no. But for that time, it was my job. I had real jobs, of course – rehearsals for 8-hour days, working for Jerry Shapiro’s firm a few days a week – but this was a job, too. I was SO ready to be out of there, but I am thankful for my time split between school and “real life” because not only did it teach me discipline and balance, it made the transition so much easier to slowly weed college out of my daily life as opposed to the cord being cut in one whack. And – it helped teach me what REALLY mattered. I needed to pass. That is all. I needed to PASS. Were these classes life makers or breakers? Hell no. But the old Katie would have stressed a LOT more over those classes than I did that final year. Because while I was beginning to work in the “real world” doing what I loved and dreamed of for ages, I had the choice of viewing myself as a student or as a professional. People would always ask what I did, and never once did I begin by saying “I’m a student at UCI.” I had a career and an identity beyond it. I had the CHOICE. So what did I do? I chose to view myself as the professional. You get the same choice, and I’m pretty sure you will choose the same. When you lean on the crutch of being “in preparation” for the real world, you stay in the place of waiting. Waiting for that “thing” to happen. Waiting for that “moment” when you’ll be like, “Wow, I feel like an adult!” Well, that moment doesn’t come to those who wait. That moment comes to those who make the decision to be proactive. And when the cord is cut in June, the decision is made for you and the table is turned overnight. Lots of people don’t know what to do with it. I might not have. But I am grateful and feel blessed to have had classes to finish to allow me a smooth transition. Even during those spells when I wasn’t filming or theatre-ing or working much for Jerry, I was always doing something to be proactive in my life. Never did I let the stress of a class or two or three deter me from who I was becoming to the world.
    If you need to talk, you know I’m here and you can call me at any time. I don’t know if this all made sense, but I hope so. I love you and KNOW that all the decisions you’ve made, are making, and will make are the right ones. The only wrong decision is not making one at all – or giving up.

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