Sunday, June 27, 2010

Graduation, garden parties and goodbyes.

So, I have left St. Andrews for the final time.

It was actually a lot harder than I was anticipating. I almost feel like I'm mourning the loss of a friend. Obviously I mourn the loss of a group of friends that might not all be together in one place ever again. All those friends whom I love, you know who you are, and I couldn't possible say enough about how much you've meant to me over the past 4 years. I won't insult you with trying, except to say that you have made me a better person. Thank you.

I'm also aware of the loss of my friends from Spanish and Biology classes - I honestly didn't realize how highly I thought of them all until, well, leaving. But I also am mourning the loss of St. Andrews itself. East and West Sands, the castle, the cathedral - even the bells at every hour  and the annoying cobble streets. Butler and Co. Fisher and Donaldson. Costa at 7am. The 70s era library. Sallies quad. St. Mary's quad. Bibi's cafe (Harbour House!). The golf course. The list could go on and on. A big part of me knows that St. Andrews won't be the same after this generation of students leaves, so there's no point being sad about being away from the town. I guess what makes me sad is that I've had to say goodbye to this part of my life. University. Relative non-responsibility. The end of an era.

It's not like I don't have anything going for me. I really have great opportunities ahead of me, and I feel so fortunate to be backed by a family that loves me, friends by my side (even if not quite literally) and a BSc (Hons) from an internationally respected academic institution. I'm not silly enough to feel entitled to all of this, and I will continue to be grateful for everything that's happened in my life - good and bad. It was all for a reason.

Grad Ball was the perfect way to finish off a week of garden parties and academic processions, along with four years of living the St. Andrews life. I mean, oh my life.

Within 2 minutes of being there, I could tell that it would be the best ball of my St. Andrews career, and it did not disappoint. Maybe it was because there were only people there that I cared about. Some old friends even made some cameo appearances! The live bands, the ceilidh and the beautiful weather certainly helped to make it an amazing night, but I have to think that, most of all, it was knowing that it was the last time we would all be together, but also that we had every reason to celebrate.

After the ball came to an end with bagpipes and Auld Lang Syne, we snuck into the castle and watched the sun come up, along with fireworks and lanterns floating into the sky. Then we hiked down to the beach at Castle Sands and just sat in silence, knowing that we were saying goodbye to so many things. So many graduates had gathered at the beach, building bonfires and reminiscing about the last few years.

5 hours later, I walked out of my house on Hepburn Gardens with far too little sleep, and already missing the girls. But I carried so much with me as I left. The kind of stuff that I'm happy to bring with me wherever I go, that doesn't cost any extra to bring on a plane and that you don't have to find storage for when you move from place to place.


  1. Sounds like a fairy tale. Miss you.

  2. Beautiful, Linds. It's hard when a door closes, even when scores more are opening. In the words of my hero, Dr Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over. Be glad that it happened!" I've been repeating that to myself lately. :-)