As shocking as it may seem to me, I'm not a college student anymore. All I have to do is look at this picture (attached for proof), showing me beaming and holding my degree, to confirm this.
Of course, in the months after graduation, I don't think my fate had yet sunk in. It seemed like any summer vacation; I was away from my friends, and we were all doing fun, random things, many of us still unsure where we would 'end up'. But come end August, reality hit. My Facebook started blowing up with posts and pictures of people who were returning to Sewanee, and I realised that the next time I was on campus would be as a proud alum.
Pic by Steven Alvarez
(Yes, Sewanee is really gorgeous. I've taken a tonne of pictures of the campus over four years... but somehow can't find them right now).
It's weird after so many years of it, to be away from formal education. I keep having these irrational fears that my brain is going to rot away due to disuse. Irrational, as I said. But strangest of all is to be away from Sewanee, although this time has given me ample opportunity to reflect on just how lucky I was to go to school there.
It's weird living near a large state school, and seeing undergraduates wear things like jeans and sweatshirts to class. Sure, I've worn jeans to class plenty of times on the mountain. However, we at Sewanee adhered to a tradition of class dress, and most people dressed up to attend classes. Professors were almost ALWAYS formally dressed, and wearing their academic gowns. I remember the first time I saw one of my Economics professors in jeans, I was mildly taken aback.
There are countless wonderful things about Sewanee that I could go on about, but one of my favourites is the large Sewanee family that you become a part of (and stay a part of, even after graduation). As a student from a large city in the heart of East Africa, you could say I was a little apprehensive at the thought of attending school in a small college town in Tennessee. I soon realised that I had absolutely NOTHING to worry about. The people there were happy and friendly, and warm even to strangers.The Sewanee motto is 'Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum'. Translated, 'Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity'. I've met alumni from the sixties who are still so absolutely in love with their alma mater, and I have witnessed firsthand the strong and caring alumni network that Sewanee has.
Great luck doesn't even begin to describe how I found Sewanee; or rather, how Sewanee found me.