Thesis Update: Time

Haven’t updated in a long while but God is too good! Somehow, I managed to finish the first draft of my chapter today. It doesn’t mean I can spend the weekend relaxing but I can begin  reworking and editing the drafts of my other chapters tomorrow. The end is in sight!

In other news, I just came back from a talk with my self-proclaimed “best friend” who was trying to get me drunk once my thesis is done. So…that’s not happening. But talking with her and some other friends recently has made me think a lot about these next few weeks.

As a senior, it’s hard not to calculate how much time you have left. And because of this awareness, I often find myself trying to fit everything in before I leave; basically making a bucket list. I do this with my friends too. But the other day I had a conversation with a friend that made me rethink these actions.

This friend and I have planned on taking a road-trip post-Princeton and we occasionally have bonding sessions that are a lot of fun. One of the things we talk about is how she can’t come up with a good nickname for me even though everyone else here has one. She tried again the other day and was unsuccessful when I said, “you only have a few weeks left to figure out a good nickname” to which she jokingly replied, “I don’t know why you always say that. It’s like you have no confidence in our friendship.”

Her response caught me off-guard and I quickly made some response about how that wasn’t in fact the case and I did have faith in our friendship. But what she said made me realize two things about myself. 1) I’d never really considered that the friendships I’ve just recently begun at Princeton could continue to flourish and grow after Princeton and 2) Though my thoughts might be forever-oriented, my attitudes and actions don’t always come off that way.

I think point 1 speaks for itself, so I’ll spend a little time explaining point 2. I do this thing a lot, especially with my actual best friend, where I come up with these things that we have to do because I’m graduating. Some of the things are legit (I can’t take a Princeton class with someone after I graduate from Princeton) but others are silly (most of the restaurants that are here now will be here a few years from now).

Still, this idea that we’re operating on a small amount of time is basically like saying “we won’t be friends in six weeks, so let’s do all the stuff now since we’ll never have another chance”. See, in my mind, I don’t really think that once I leave Princeton all my friendships will end. Usually I’m thinking about how I can’t wait to meet my friends’ future husbands or how our kids will be friends or how we’ll go on vacations together (that’s happening). But what my actions say is, “once Princeton is over, this friendship is over”.

I can’t seem to do away with that attitude and I can’t find a way to balance the actual desire to spend time doing cool things with friends before this type of opportunity is over – like, grabbing a smoothie from Tico’s or taking a roadtrip – and the (fairly) subconscious fear that once this time is over my friends won’t want to do this kind of stuff anymore.

I don’t know if this post makes much sense or if it’s just a difficult-to-read stream of consciousness but yeah. I want to appreciate my friendships and not force my friends to do things because of some arbitrary non-existent friendship deadline. Hopefully these next few weeks will be filled with awesome things like watching Pocahontas or Beauty and the Beast, and also normal things like TAKING A WALK ON THE TOWPATH WHICH I HAVEN’T DONE SINCE FRESHMAN YEAR or hanging out in a dorm. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be fun if I’m just taking the time to be with my friends. They haven’t disappointed me yet ;).

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