A Student in Summary
A Student in Summary
For the entire time I was a student at the University of Virginia (2016–2020), I kept a journal, updating it almost-daily with details of what I had done or experienced, with the final entry falling on May 18, 2020, the day I moved out of my dorm for the final time. I even kept the diary up, though far less consistently, during summers. It serves as a testament to my life at the university, and I want to share selected passages from it in order to show what my experiences were like as a member of the Class of 2020. To paraphrase the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, some of those experiences were the best of times, and others the worst. But I definitely loved my time at UVA overall, and will forever cherish these and other memories, good and bad.
If any names of non-notable-people are mentioned, I have changed or omitted them, for the sake of privacy of those involved. Also, these entries have been trimmed to only the relevant passages, meaning they aren’t reproduced in full.
On August 26, 2016, I moved into my room in Gwathmey, dorm of the International Residential College (IRC) as a first-year. I would live for my entire four undergraduate years at UVA within the IRC. I begin with the entry I made on that date:
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Today was one of the most emotional days of my life, with a whirlwind of emotions surrounding these events. It is a wise mother bird who realizes that her hatchling will one day leave the nest, and learn to fly on his own. It may be hard; it may cause her agony, for she certainly, if given the choice, would take at least one more day with him, as her child. She’d doubtless gladly push off that day, no matter whether or not she was a procrastinator at heart—and I do mean no matter.
But time trudges on, like an engineer-less locomotive with no conscious awareness of its destination, purpose, or even mere existence. We mere mortals are powerless to stop its advance. In this realization, however, I find serenity, rather than dread. Yes, those halcyon days will come to an end, yes those precious “wonder years” will fade, committed to that fate no matter how much they’re loved, or cared for, or even remembered. Memory certainly preserves them, in some form, but it too shall pass.
But it doesn’t matter how soul-crushing the depression is, or how useless it seems to fight against the inevitable, but we do it because we choose to do so. In that moment, in that decision, we rebel against the great abyss, with no hope of forever forestalling the end of the journey, but because we choose to be, because we choose to find meaning, in that we do win, and we become significant, and though knowledge of our deeds and our lives may be lost to the future, those things aren’t lost to the present, and they mean something now.
So enjoy life, my great friends and family. Cherish it all you can, for as much as you can, for as long as you can.
Thank you, Mom and Dad. I love you both, and I can’t wait for you, all my friends, and I to all see what life has in store for all of us.
“A Student, in Summary” is a non-fiction work, a collection of journal entries and explanatory notes which tell what it was like to be this member of the Class of 2020