The sun has begun pulling back its rays, the warmth turning all too quickly toward places that are not here. The black sleeves of my jacket warded off the chill last night. But still, I resented its necessity. There are those who have sprinted, leapt, and nose-dived straight into pumpkin land, but not me. No, I continue to sit barefoot on my tiny balcony, and demand that summer last a little longer. Like I always do.
But here we are. Tomorrow I’ll sit in a stuffy classroom for the millionth time under glaring florescent lights while a professor drones on through a syllabus exactly like every single one before it, and one that will come after. A current of energy runs through a campus during its first days though. It catches you under your feet and tricks you into thinking that these classes won’t be so bad, the material could actually be helpful. And then you realize that the text book sucks, but will never be changed because some dude in the department over helped write it, and your adjunct gives approximately zero shits about the subject. You’ll think about how the budget cuts are ruining education, and remind yourself not to fear because at least the sports coaches are paid well! Cue giving yourself a mental reminder that it is what it is, radical acceptance and all that.
Then I remember that this could be my last fall ever as a student and some of the apathy loosens giving way to a myriad of fear, relief, and maybe even a twinge of sadness. Because universities are one of the few places I feel most at home. I love the old buildings and meandering paths with overarching trees. The feeling that you fell into a novel and anything could happen. People say that NYC has a heartbeat, but so do universities. Because ideas, learning, and creativity live within the crumbly brick walls. There are scientists and dancers and dancers who are scientists. And students, if they’re lucky find not only their niches, but the beginnings of themselves.
Campus doesn’t hold the same illusion it maybe once did, but it has always been a choice to hang onto the magic in our lives. Magic lives in the noticing. Noticing how perfectly the breeze tickled across your face. How that building is practically demanding to be written into a scene. The way the street holds the sounds of buses and bicycles ringing past. How cozily your coffee is warming your hand. We might have missed the train on September 1st, but the magic is here too. It really is.
As for tonight though, I am without a doubt going to sit on my balcony with bare feet and implore the day for a little more light even if it’s just this once.