I have a tendency to become nostalgic for things I haven't yet finished, always in the final hours of my time there.
In high-school, I spent the entirety of my senior year nostalgic for the hallways and the locker and the lunch room that I had become so accustomed to. For the friends I spent so much time with, and the notebooks we passed back and forth - a diary we shared with one another, where we wrote so many stories of our lives amidst so many random thoughts.
On day trips to Wildwood, I spend the car ride home reminiscing about a trip that isn't quite over yet. Remembering all the things we laughed about, and how cold the water was when we first stepped in.
While walking around campus the other day, on my way to Starbucks and class, I became nostalgic for something else that I haven't left yet.
I became nostalgic for a tree in my school's quad that blooms every spring: first into an abundance of pink flowers and then, as spring turns to summer, to beautiful green leaves as the flowers fall to the ground around its trunk.
Despite being early December, it was 60 degrees in Pennsylvania, and I think the weather tricked my brain into thinking it was spring. And that my tree should be blooming.
I'm entering finals week for my 5th semester at college, and reality has been catching up with me for the past few months that my time here is almost finished.
And as I walked to class that day, anticipating the day when my tree will, once again, bloom, I remembered the first time I photographed that tree. And I tried to imagine the last time that I will, a little over a year from now.
And I became nostalgic for all the buildings I've had class in over the last couple of years. For the elevators that never work, and for the beautiful stories behind some of our buildings.
And I knew that, if I come back in 12 years for my reunion, these buildings will still be here. Because they have history.
Not just for me, but for the first women to study education here. Or for the runaway slaves who used the basements beneath our classrooms to hide in. Or for the person for whom our new library is named.
Or at least, the ghosts of these buildings will remain. Even as they take down old buildings to replace them with newer architecture, or replace the sculpture in the center of the quad with a new one, the memories of these buildings will remain.
Just as the memory of my tree will.