Photo Credit: Craig Burdett
Molly Finkelstein’s Last Dispatch as an Undergraduate
It's time to get sentimental. Or, at least, that's what I hear. Graduation is in less than a month, but I've been too busy with all the work I have left to do to start weeping about my last ever Parents' Weekend (am I the only senior whose parents come to this?). There are still papers to write, issues of The Misc to work on, and very important Mug nights to go to. But I know the end is near. Ever since I turned in my thesis (80 pages of poetry) and sent the yearbook in to the publisher, I've felt a combined sense of relief and disbelief that I still have to go to class and do all my reading.
Now that I know the end is near, I think I'm ready for it. Or about as ready as I can hope to be. When I read an article for class about the politics of 18th-century French furniture, it just feels unnecessary. I'm ready to be a productive member of a society facing issues slightly more pressing than the gender of pre-revolutionary writing desks. I've been in school for the past 16 years; I'm ready to put my education to more practical uses. Surely, my ancient societies correlate will come in handy.
To be fair, Vassar is trying to help us with the more mundane aspects of post-collegiate life. Earlier this week the Career Development Office offered a workshop about finance and budgeting. The room was packed; I had to sit on the floor. A huge group of seniors and one overachieving sophomore frantically took notes about bank accounts and credit cards. Let's just say there was more than one question asked along the lines of "Wait, so, what's a mutual fund?" Maybe we're not quite ready to enter the real world yet, but hey, we're quick learners.
I've really loved my years here at Vassar, but I think it's time for me to go. I don't want to live with four of my nearest and dearest friends anymore. I don't want to think that 10:30 a.m. is early or that pizza bagels are part of a balanced diet. I want to grow up already, at least a little bit. I'm not too worried about graduating. I already know I'll see most of my friends in New York City next year. I've already looked at all the English classes in the 2008–09 course catalogue and for once, I think I'll live if I don't take any of them. I know once I graduate I'll miss Vassar, but I also know that my college years will be irrevocably over. I won't need Vassar to guide me anymore; I'll be just fine on my own—thanks, in part, to all I've learned here. And besides, I can always come back and relive my favorite Mug night ('80s Night!) at Reunion.
Molly will be living in New York City and attending Columbia University’s Publishing Institute this summer. Look for a profile of Molly in the summer issue of the Vassar Quarterly.