Let Me Explain: That’s what she said

You can have the town; why don’t you take it? Allow me to extrapolate.

Not only is school nearly out for summer; it’s almost out forever. To be done with schooling for life-since not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford graduate school-invites a rush of accomplishment and a ripple of terror. I’d go to school forever if I could, taking coffee in my eco-friendly container to Xavier Hall to sit in a circle with bright scholars and discuss challenging novels and interesting characters. English majors get to be in a four-year, time-traveling book club, led by a faculty of word lovers. If not for the English Department and The University News, I would’ve hopped my Honda back to Nashville after freshman year.

It’s lucky to find a passion and to apply those skills to a major. I’ve had answers to questions my whole life: “In what do you want to major?” (English.) “Where do you want to go to school?” (Saint Louis University.) “Why did you kiss that boy?” (He winked at me.)

Once more, questions are being pitched at graduating seniors: “What now?” And I haven’t a clue. For someone who schedules every moment of her life, this should be driving me crazy. My parents have agreed to take me in and fight about curfews yet again, but the job market is turning its back on me-most likely because I have yet to apply for a single, grown-up job. It’s a love-hate relationship, peppered with laziness.

I used to think that making it in the world meant tossing a beret into the Minneapolis skyline ? la Mary Tyler Moore, but I may, in fact, be Rhoda: I’ve been known to be cynical from time to time, and I still don’t know a thing about relationships or what to do with my hair. What I do know is where puddles form in the Quad when it rains, where the secret stairwells lead in the Busch Student Center and where to find some good conversation. I know the value of the work I’ve done here and the impact my professors have had upon me, some of whom have had the misfortune of having me for several courses.

I ran into my high school British Literature teacher over Spring Break, and he asked the dreaded question: “What are you doing after graduation?”

Now, this was the man who made me cheer over Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, cry over “Much Ado About Nothing” and tear out my hair over a procrastinated Shakespeare paper. This was someone whose pride I sought and advice I valued.

I looked him in the eye and said, “Randy?” (I was a rebel student back in the day.) “I’m looking for the next adventure.”

To which he replied, “I think we’re all just waiting for what’s next.”

Everything, pre-earthquake, was shaken up by college, and I’ve found that I’m not the person I thought I was; I’ve made decisions and delivered statements and considered ideas far from the person I understood myself to be in high school. But I’ve also spoken out of turn, saying things that needed to be said, and laughed until my stomach hurt. I’ve challenged people more important than myself, and you better believe that I was right. I finally feel as though I’ve done good by me.

It’s a little frightening to tread unsteadily, but something is going to happen next; I can feel it. Maybe it’s a great adventure, maybe it’s just gas, but it’s something new, and I’m ready.

Katie Lewis is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.