Claremont McKenna: A Love Confession

Once again, we return from winter break to unbelievable weather. The beauty of Southern California never ceases to captivate me. I think the sunsets are my favorite aspect of unabashed pollution. A pink sky at night is not only a sailor’s delight. It is mine, as well. Classes are starting slowly for me. There are eleven seniors who also put off Spanish 33 until their last semester. We are together, with Professor Altamirano. I am sure she could smell the vodka seeping from my pores the first day of class. But this is CMC. Where else can I wear a flowery-embroidered nightgown to an exclusive lingerie party?

When I look out of my window, the tough California grass begs me to commit myself to a book and a Green Beach blanket. I used to live so close to those distracting bikinied booties. I’m no longer the pervert pretending to read, just the pervert with binoculars in a Fawcett single.

I put in my contacts so I can wear a pair of Ray Bans I found on the ground outside Pitzer’s dining hall. I am wearing a tank top with increasingly unfit arms and tattoos I never would have gotten if I weren’t such a badass in middle school. My bike tires are flat and The Black Keys have me feeling like a freaking rock star as I meander through wafts of air 40 degrees warmer than Portland raindrops. Some California oranges and a hand job are all I want in life. A trip to Sprouts with Terrence will always suffice.

Then I go to the first basketball game of the Semester, CMS v. Pomona-Pitzer. The crowd: rowdy. The Stags: winning as usual in a thick, intoxicated smog. My shirt soaked in other peoples’ perspiration. David Oxtoby will not be pleased when he sees the You Tube video of President Gann chanting, “it’s all over” to the phallic Sagecocks behind her.

I could go on forever about this place.

Time, nevertheless, is fleeting.

As a senior, this is semester number eight. I am getting nervous about the future. Uneasy thoughts surf my nerves daily. Will I get into graduate school? Does Career Services have more than three writing alumni I can contact? I expect no, and no, respectively. The stress builds.

I’m not just worried about what I will do for work or school. I’m bummed at the thought of leaving you all. I wonder about the friends we’ve made here. Is it inevitable that we will only communicate via technology after leaving Claremont? Will we ever hang out again? Who knows? And that frightens me. So I ask Dear A Mitch. What should I do?

“Buy new hipster jeans,” he says. “Be sexy forever.”

Done, and done. Thanks A Mitch. That wasn’t too comforting, however, it is easier to see my dick outlined in denim when I sit down in these jeans. Much respect for the knowledge, friend.

See, I’m not as nonchalant as Dear A Mitch. My worries for the future are genuine. For so long, our lives have been loosely scheduled around school for nine months of the year. I know a lot of who seniors already have a stable plan, but I also know there is a lot of uncertainty for many. And for everyone, a major lifestyle change is around the corner. Spells of anxiety seem unavoidable at this time.

While all these stresses are real, it is exciting to be on the bridge of something new. I think the feeling is similar to the sensations I’ve had this last week – a mix of sadness for having to leave my family once again and the undeniable thrill of a new semester. New classes. New people. New ideas. Maybe it is the potential for something different that is so deeply enticing? It pulls my thoughts from the depths of relentless job applications. Everything will be fine, I tell myself. So will you. This college has not prepared us for failure.

When I started writing this article I didn’t plan on reminding the seniors we are graduating in four months. My mind kept floating to the topic though. In the end, I am glad this was the product. As Ice Cube would say, “We’re not there yet.” I think the reminder is timely: be appreciative of our daily reality. It will soon be passing. The glory years, they call them. I’m not sure if these will be our glory years, but whatever this time in our life is, it is blossoming. Take in the beauty before it’s gone.