Happy LDOC, everybody! And Happy LLDOC to my fellow seniors - that’s Last Last Day Of Class, for the uninitiated.
This feels weird! Doesn’t it feel weird? It feels really weird!
My last day of class was actually yesterday, since I haven’t had Friday classes this semester(I know, the luxury!). I attended my 18th century British literature class for the final time, wearing my cap and gown over my pajamas - not quite what I had imagined for my final LDOC at Carolina! That vision had involved me wearing a sundress and lying on the quad with my friends, soaking up the sun and singing “Carolina In My Mind.”
As we celebrate the end of the semester, it’s hard to catalogue all the different emotions I’ve felt just today. I’m relieved that I’ve finished my classes(except for finals), that I was able to see my professors and classmates at all over the past month, that we’ve all stumbled to this finish line together. I’m sad that it had to be this way, I’m angry about the things I can’t control, I’m optimistic about the things I’ll do when this is all over, I’m scared about the future. I’m nostalgic and happy and exhausted and sad and confused, and I know I’m not alone in that.
It’s important that we still celebrate LDOC, even virtually, in the safety of our homes. We’ve all crossed a finish line together, and it was not easy to get here. It’s taken a lot of hard work and patience and a near-absurd level of adaptability from all of us connected to Carolina - students, professors, our families, our leaders. I think we should take this opportunity to congratulate each other for making it here, more or less intact.
27 years ago, Charles Kuralt asked the Class of 1993: “What is it that binds us to this place as no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. Or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming...No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, the University of the people.”
I’d do anything to see those dogwoods right now, let alone the crowds of my fellow students on the quad and in the pit, enjoying the blooms of spring before we all pack into the libraries for our finals. But we have our memories, and we have each other.
We are bound to Carolina because, at our core, we know that we are bound to each other. Our collaborative spirit is alive no matter where we are, blooming dogwoods or not. On this, the last LDOC for the Class of 2020, I’m reminded that Carolina will never truly leave us. Not as long as we help each other, and believe in its spirit.
Congratulations to all of us. We’ve done something amazing together.
Now, good luck on those exams. (Some things don’t change.)