A soon-to-be-graduate’s love letter to Georgia Tech

Insert cheesy graduation quote here

Less than a month.

That was the milestone I hit this past weekend on the countdown to graduation. It feels like I was just reaching the “halfway point” and “one more year” marker, and now I have a cap and gown sitting in my closet, anxiously waiting to be worn. Suddenly, the day that we’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner. And a part of me wishes that it wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m excited to graduate (and my parents are thrilled to have me off the payroll) but there are so many little things I want to soak in during these last few weeks as an undergrad. Rolling into class in an oversized t-shirt and workout shorts, taking impromptu naps and going out on a Tuesday night – I’ve been taking these luxuries for granted for almost four years now. Unfortunately, “ath-leisure” is a far cry from business attire, sleeping at your desk seems somewhat frowned upon, and drinking on weeknights is limited to a casual glass of wine with dinner.

At Georgia Tech specifically, there are many unique things I’m going to miss. The sound of the steam engine crying out, announcing class changes, is forever imprinted in my brain. How will I ever tell when it’s five till the hour without this friendly reminder? The familiar campus landmarks I’ve grown accustomed to – like the ice-cream cone sculpture and freshman hill – suddenly mean more to me than they did last semester. I’ll miss chatting with Marcus, the extremely friendly security guard, on the way out of Scheller. And even when I’m in a rush to get across campus, I always stop to get a quote from our neighborhood philosopher (more fondly known as the Fifth Street Bridge Man).

I’ve already experienced my last football game as a student and I’ll miss sitting in the same section as all of my friends and storming the field (even when it wasn’t totally called for). I never thought I would miss waking up at the crack of dawn to tailgate before our all-too-frequent noon kick-off’s, but I’m starting to think that I will.

I’ll miss sorority and fraternity events (and spending more time getting ready with my friends than at the actual events). I’ll miss recapping our nights to each other the next day for hours on end. And hopefully graduating doesn’t mean the end of ridiculous theme parties or I’m going to have an entire drawer full of makeshift costumes that are suddenly obsolete.

Knowing that my best friends live on the same block (or even in the same apartment) is one of the best parts of college. I’ll miss being able to call them at all hours of the day/night to see if they want to run to Piedmont Park with me or if they are also craving late-night McDonald’s.

Before you throw me a pity party, I must admit that I am staying in Atlanta after graduation. I’ll live less than five minutes from campus and I even got season football tickets. But it won’t be the same. And while I’ve just spent several paragraphs convincing you otherwise, I’m OK with that. When I turn my tassel on May 7th, I’ll no doubt be sad to leave this school, but my love for Georgia Tech will only grow stronger as I join the thousands of other Yellow Jackets who have “gotten out” of this fine institution.

To those who have graduated from Georgia Tech, thank you for welcoming me into this school’s prestigious alumni base. To younger students or fourth-years taking a victory lap, don’t wish your days away (yes, even during finals week). And to all of the future Yellow Jackets, thank you for making my degree look better by being super smart – and I hope you fall in love with Georgia Tech the same way I have.

Georgia Tech