For the past few months, I’ve looked around at my university, my friends, and Isla Vista with graduation goggles—a la How I Met Your Mother. I arch my neck to look up at the familiar eucalyptus trees lined outside the bike path by HSSB. I smile when I hear the bells chiming in Storke Tower while I’m showering in my apartment before I head to class. I pause to admire the cotton-candy skies around 7-8pm while I’m walking across the lawn in Santa Ynez, without bothering to take a picture because I know my iPhone 6 can’t do the Isla Vista sunsets justice.
I haven’t forgotten the bad memories either, but now they feel more like events from another life.
I notice that the grassy lawn in front of the library has been uprooted, where I sat with someone I once liked.
I let out a quiet chuckle to myself while riding the 11 to campus, thinking about how I planned to move to Italy after I graduated, and how I almost got married when I was still living in FT.
I walk down Camino Del Sur now without feeling as terrible as I did before knowing that my current boyfriend no longer lives a few blocks away from me.
Graduating feels exactly like coming to the end of a TV series. You know you’re winding down to the final few episodes and the finale is approaching in a few more hours of binge-watching. You’ve immersed yourself in this story for the past 4 years.
You just want to know how it’ll end. You want to know everything turns out okay, that the characters will be happy and won’t cease to exist even though new episodes stop airing. You want to know that Angelica gets her dream house, that she graduates from USC, and watches her little brother grow up and learn how to speak Spanish fluently. You want to see Ting get married to someone who will appreciate how dedicated he can be to the people he loves, and meet his adorable Taiwanese babies (whom he’ll inevitably spoil rotten). You want to see pictures on Instagram of Ivan and his future girlfriend, because you know he’s going to be the perfect attentive boyfriend and you want to see him find love. You want to go to the movies and watch whatever cool documentaries Steve makes.
You want to know if Chloe will find a job she loves, if long distance works out, if she’ll end up moving back to Guam, if she has kids, if she ends up happy. You want to know that college was an awesome series, but that there’s something better out there, because life goes on.