As a deeply nostalgic and sentimental person, I get very tense at the idea of things coming to a close. As seniors, I think we all have this sense of impending doom as that May 11th graduation date draws ever closer, and the number of times we can say “oh I’ll do it next year” has reached ultimate zero. Adding immense pressure to my imminent W&M departure is that the practical purposes of my job as a Senior Interviewer for the admission office are winding down; six more interviews and one more Fall Focus panel and I will close my interviewer notepad for good. At this point, the 13 other interns and I have written hundreds of pages about potential applicants’ academic performance, extra curricular activities and personal qualities. We gave upwards of 2,000 people tours of campus over the summer, drank hundreds of dollars worth of Coronas at Paul’s and College, and lost to the deans of admission in an epic game of kickball. Spending forty hours a week with the other 13 interns all summer made it feel like my senior year started with my internship back in May, and now that it’s concluding, it feels like the end of senior year’s first chapter.
As the weight of senior year becomes more apparent, I remember what my French teacher did for us on our last day of class senior year of high school. He read us the moment from Antoine Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince when the little prince is distraught to leave the fox, his best friend, to travel the world in pursuit of bigger and better things. To soothe him, the fox says that he will forever associate wheat fields with the little prince because of the golden hue of his hair, so at least part of their friendship will live on forever. What are my wheat fields from my Senior Interviewer experience? The Aquafina water bottles that I took every time I gave a tour this summer; the green W&M Athletics bag that stayed taped to our office wall and comprised its décor until mid-July; the countless information packets we stuffed at the front desk as tour groups trickled into the lobby; the blazers that one of the interns wore to professionalize her sundresses, and that awkward day when one of her interviewees was wearing the exact same blazer.
I think every senior will attest to having moments from their college experience they hope they never forget: those Friday nights with your freshman hall, the free water and cheap sandwiches from Wawa, your 21st birthday, LDOC(s), and any other ones unique to yourself. This Friday, when I leave my tiny office in admission for the last time as an interviewer, I’ll stash all those wheat fields away with the best of memories from the last four years. It comforts me to know, however, that the little things from my summer – and college experience overall – will carry special significance throughout the rest of my life.