What is the point of senior year. My friend asked me that the other day. It’s the kind of question you ask out of misery, not the kind you want to someone to answer. The ritual of graduation is supposed to end this academic roller coaster (with the many dips, points of elation, and ugly face making) so that we feel like we’ve accomplished something important. Right? I don’t know. It’s just the beginning. And there is a summer me that is still in the habit of enjoying the SoCal sun every time I walk out of an academic building.

I will say this. Already this year is not what I expected it to be. I should have warned myself better against the idealizations, really. Rule number one of life should be to never expect anything. Ever. Just don’t do it. It just leaves you more disappointed when your schedule doesn’t align with that of your friends, when you stop talking to people who thought had your best interest at heart, when you have to wake up at 6AM to catch a train and miss it. But also when your little cousin calls to say she wants you to visit, when you’re given gifts at the random, when you try something new at the dining hall that is THE BOMB, when you professor says 50 pages and your heart doesn’t sting, and when your friends greet you at the end of your long work day with impromptu heart to hearts. I talk to people the way I feel. I don’t hold the same fear about asking for help or joking with professors the way I used to. My schedule is clear-cut too. I’m fitting in my past times in coral colored boxes on my Google calendar. Concerts. Workshops. Events with food. Even though I work in L.A. two times a week and have two seminars, I’m pushing through for the slots of times when I get to see my friends. It just doesn’t hit me that I’m going to be finished (maybe) with school soon because I feel like I’ve started to live an adult lifestyle. It’s only Day 2 but it feels like Day 231. Late nights, early mornings. With “Bodak Yellow” as my theme song for when I start each day.

Yes. This year is not what I expected. But that does not mean it hasn’t been exactly what I need it be. And I am as ready as I can be for my senior year at Pomona College.