The other day I found myself once again
surrounded by a hoop of people feeling stale, bored, and
boring, looking this way and that desperately for something
else to laugh at. Because laughs nicely fill up the minutes
– an empty filling feeling. And I felt that creeping
realization I had pushed away like a dirty secret – I felt
saturated. Fully saturated.
Well, not exactly. I also felt really
hungry. Starving, in fact. For something new, something
different, millions of delicious things to cram into my
This is what I call the Post-Junior Year
Syndrome. So full of “scholarly knowledge,” fingers and
neurons tenured in the arts of studying, understanding, and
memorizing. Rattling off formulas and cramming cornices of
the mind and stretching the expanses for creativity. Now my
mind needs to refresh and release its clenched muscles. No
more forced memorization of facts and methods I could care
less about, but a rejuvenating burst of flavor exploding all
sorts of things that I want to know.
Summer. I can taste it. Early in May I
remember starting a list of “Things to do:” Then, I
scribbled off the colon and added “later.” Then, I scribbled
off the colon again, and added “when I have time.”
And now here we are, at the brink of
freedom. I’ve never felt more ecstatic about the imminent
summer. This end of the year period is nearly always my
favorite, probably even higher up on my Sound of Music-esque
list of favorite things than the actual summer itself. It’s
this period of hope and glee.
Our patience with annoying communication
with people we dislike is running dry so much that the idea
of a three month respite from the same, tedious group of
people energizes us enough to babble emotionally in yearbook
entries and bestow generous good-bye hugs.
A new beginning, albeit a far more
dramatic one for seniors, awaits us the next year. All of
our follies and foolishness are being slowly effaced as
everything gets lost in a blurry picture of various hands
waving goodbye. And the focus turns from the crowd, the
groups, and the others, to the self, the person, and the
individual. Pressures off. Seriousness gone.
I remember last year in sophomore year,
we read Dandelion Wine, in which a junkman, Mr. Jones,
presented the main character, an ailing young boy, with a
bottle of fresh mountain air. And when said boy, Douglas,
took a sharp whiff of the crisp air sealed in the bottle, he
felt it coursing through his veins and flicking on every
off-switch inside of him.
This is like that.