Saturday, May 16, 2009

it's time to leave...

Tomorrow morning at the Rotunda, 1/4 of the University's student population will bid farewell to these hallowed grounds and set out into the real world.

It's graduation time.

The chairs have been set up all over Grounds (and I suspect tents too, given the torrential downpour occuring), graduation parties are on going at various apartments and at Alumni Hall (I have to say, the fraternity across the street is taking the graduation party a bit far. I'm really annoyed at the fourth hour in a row of screaming metal music. They are our lovely neighbors and all, but please they need better music taste), tickets have been handed out, pretty much all is in readiness -- are the graduates ready? Who knows? 

For me, my feelings at the end of this year are those of relief, sadness, and eagerness. Relief that I'm not the one graduating and my rather hellish first year of comm school is over, sadness that my fourth year friends and sisters are graduating and that I didn't have more time to spend with them, and eagerness for the summer and year ahead. I suspect that college graduation will be a much more emotional time for me than high school graduation. So many memories, so many close friendships, somehow high school seems like a distant memory right now.

Right now, I hope that traffic won't be too horrible tomorrow and that it's raining rather than sweltering heat. I might change my mind next year, but I'd take slushy mud over people fainting left and right in the sun.

Speaking of graduation. I'm in complete denial that I'm a fourth year now. What? What's that you say? I'm definitely a third year still. Nope, I'm not in my last year of college. You're utterly insane. 

who says c'ville is boring in the summer?

Some people say that Charlottesville is boring during the summertime because all the students clear out. Having spent all three of my summers in C'ville, I think I qualify as somewhat of an expert on this topic. Why all three summers? Meh, mostly a mixture of knowing the area, not quite wanting to spend the entire summer at home, and having jobs and internships here.

Most people are somewhat preoccupied during the summer anyway because they're here for classes or an internship. So what to do outside of work/class time? I will concede, you have to know some people who are also staying in town, or have folks your age at wherever you're working. The past week, I've filled my days with lunches and dinners with friends, some tennis in the afternoon at Snyder, movie nights (I'm currently on a sci fi and romantic comedy kick), yoga and dance classes at Studio 206 on the downtown mall, and just plain a lot of hanging out with friends. 

Apart from what I like to do, there's lots of hiking and biking trails for the outdoorsy minded, Ashlawn Highland and Monticello for the history lovers, one hour drive to Shortpump + Stony Point and two hours from Tysons for those who like to shop, beautiful countryside for those who like the country, Corner and downtown bars and clubs for party goers, and so on and so forth.

Sounds great, but for those who are coming from a huge city (like I did), it's definitely a difficult transition. I got used to C'ville and love it now, but people who like the hustle and bustle and everything that can be found in a city would definitely find C'ville to be boring at first. It's especially bad in the summer time because if you don't know anyone who's left here, you'll be bored out of your mind.

Having just almost completely negated what I said in the first part of the post, I actually still love spending my summers in C'ville. It's a great time to rest and recharge from the school year simply because most of the students aren't here. It's a completely different feeling, and I enjoy having the place to myself. That's not to say the town just dies, there are quite a few people who live here irregardless of the school.

Bottom line is? You'll have to form your own opinion. But as a city girl (massive city, seven million people, yeah) who came here, I absolutely love it here. I'd want to live here when I want to settle down in a life. Great environment, friendly people, and still relatively cheap cost of living.