Yes, I cried on the plane alone. Yes, that was the fourth time I have cried on a plane alone. But this time, it was about something else. It was about friendship and four years and a three street town. It was a silent cry; long, clear boogers ran down my face. I tried to reflect about my entire undergraduate experience at St Andrews and I could not. It was too much.Two weeks before finishing, I was pretty sure that when that last exam was over and I was soaked, I was going to die. I felt that leaving St Andrews was like death; all of a sudden I would not exist in St Andrews anymore. I would become a memory. I had been in St Andrews for so long, I thought that I could not exist anywhere else. I laughed with fear. I felt like the character Charlie in that short story I cannot remember the name of and might just be a dream I had, where he is about to go off to war and is so afraid of what will happen, of the complete unknown, that he cannot stop laughing. I could not stop laughing.Then I went to London for a few days and everything made sense again. I remembered that I can exist outside the bubble, that it is okay to be alone. I career-shadowed Jenna, a St Andrews alumni who shared with me the fact that St Andrews never ends; it just disperses. It continues on in a different form.
I put my head down and studied for the last exam, taking occasional dance breaks. And suddenly, I am being soaked. My hands are heavy, my body is heavy, my mind is light and free. I am gasping for air. I am covered in hot pink glitter. If only everything stopped in that moment.
Except it did not. Except life continued. And a friendship I treasured made me feel like trash. Two days before leaving. And it became hard to see the good in St Andrews, it made me relieved to be leaving, ready to run away and restart. Except it is not as easy as that, is it?
My relationship with St Andrews is complicated. It is the place that I have been the happiest, the saddest, and the angriest. It is the place that I have met the most incredible people, and the worst. Yet, it is all of these experiences put together that have taught me about life and about myself. I am so thankful to have met, worked with, chatted with, drank with, danced with, cleaned with, studied with all of you. I am so thankful to have been your friend, your acquaintance, your classmate. Thank you for making me cry. It has been the ups and downs and all the moments in between. I am not running away, I am joining the dance.