It may be time to officially admit that I am graduating. The last week of classes has begun bringing with it my last Center Stage meeting. Today was the most beautiful day reminding me of everything I love about JMU. Tanning on the quad I remember my first tour and how much I loved everyone lounging on the quad. I cannot believe I am almost done with my time here when I still feel like that senior in high school. I have been denying the fact that I am graduating the entire year even going as far as not buying my cap and gown yet.
As I head up the stairs for my last meeting in Taylor 402 I can’t even begin to think about not having UPB in my life. It has been apart of everything that has been me these past 4 years. UPB gave me a place for my concert obsession to grow into a career. Center Stage was the place were I found out how concerts were planned in real time as well as teaching me about JMU. Meetings in Taylor for the past 4 years have added more joy and knowledge to my life than I could put into words. Remembering my first convo freshman year, Gym Class Heros and how little I knew shows me how much I have grown through this organization. Nothing can ever replace the people I have met, the shows I have worked or the things I have learned.
I begin my final meeting as ready as I will ever be, literally ignoring the fact that this is my last Center Stage meeting and official UPB moment in Taylor Hall. We end with pizza, the only way I know how to say goodbye, and some fun tokens for my members to remember the year. My admin chair Amanda puts it perfectly as we sit in Taylor regretting having to leave, “guess it is time to move onward”; horrifically depressing but appropriate.
As I clean out my desk each item reminds me of my time at UPB; my Third Eye Blind set list, Wiz Khalifa signed poster, and random notes from UPBers. Driving off campus that stupid Fergie “Big Girls Don’t Cry” song comes on the radio. That song blasted from our shower radio every single day freshman year. This memory comes back to me and I start crying. I can’t even change the song I hate because of what today has had me thinking. Even writing this back now is hard. I have yet to read all the kind things my Center Stagers wrote on the collage my chairs got me, I know that will kill me and bring more tears.
I won’t end this on a note of goodbye because I can’t. I know that this is only a turning point in my life giving me time to appreciate everything JMU has made possible. I wish I could thank each person individually for touching my life these past four years. All I can say is please stay in touch because I know this is not the end… only the beginning.