In preparing this article, my annual retrospective on leaving Boston College behind, I said to myself one thing: “Has it really been four years?”
So much has happened to me since May 19, 2008, including the founding of this blog less than a year later, but in the same light, it feels like not much time at all. There are those of you out there who are just days from walking across the stage, or some who consider four years to be a drop in the bucket compared to how long it’s been since you left. No matter what your situation, if you received a Boston College diploma, you have your own memories of the day you said goodbye.
Those of you who have “Soaring to Glory” on the back of your Superfan shirts remember that day as well (and please keep wearing that shirt — nothing beats free advertising). Since starting this site in 2009, I am glad to have connected with so many alumni, particularly those who marched into Alumni Stadium with me in 2008. This site serves the whole Boston College community, but is an homage to our class in particular.
One thing I’ve kept in perspective, however, is that even though I’m no longer an active part of BC, BC is an active part of me. My four years there were doubtlessly special, but nearly every day since, I’ve immersed myself in my alma mater by my own choice. I am proud and grateful to be an alumnus of Boston College.
Now, I will leave you with a redacted version of the retrospective I posted last year.
The sunlight was streaming through the window of my room, Rubenstein D16, but admittedly, I wasn’t asleep. I was preoccupied all night long, and for good reason. At times during the night, I dozed off, but once I stirred and regained consciousness, it was very difficult to fall back asleep. Dorm curtains never make the room completely pitch black, so I watched from bed as the darkness slowly gave way to dawn’s light.
It was nearly 7 a.m., and I knew my alarm was about to go off at any moment, anyway, so after shutting it off, I got out of bed and finally looked outside. Campanella Way was very quiet: the guests had not yet started to come on campus, and there wasn’t much activity at the dining hall across the street that I could see. It was as peaceful a scene as I could remember on what would be my final day at Boston College.
Soon thereafter, my roommate woke up and we got ourselves ready for what awaited us. A few days earlier, he and I went to Conte Forum to get our cap and gown sets, and just a day before, I went with my family to the Baccalaureate in said gown. Standing there in Conte Forum wearing my black robe was the first time I said to myself “oh crap, it’s really over, isn’t it?” I mean, obviously I knew the day was coming for a long time, and I tried to make the most out of every minute I had left at BC (towards the end, maximizing my time became close to an obsession). By that morning, however, the time for fun was finished. I put the gown on one more time, but now with my cap and hood as well. I went to the nearest mirror to see myself and I could not fathom that by that afternoon, I’d hold the perpetual title of “Boston College alum.” I tried to hide my disappointment, though I believe I conveyed a more shocked countenance at the time. I must have stood in front of that mirror for a solid minute or two.
Before long, we were both tired of pacing around the room. My roommate and I left Rubenstein Hall at about 8 a.m., and as we walked up the stairs behind Ignacio, we looked out upon the campus. From then on, we both knew that if we ever wanted to come back, we’d actually have to make a concerted effort (and, as I’d later learn, we would also have to park in the Beacon Street Garage – thank you, Toll Booth Guy, for telling me that very forcefully on my first return visit; I haven’t forgotten).
We arrived at Linden Lane only a few minutes after leaving our room, and while the crowd of graduates was thin at the time, it was certainly growing by the minute. Almost immediately, I found other friends, and out came the cameras as everyone was taking pictures. Sure, it got a little boring hanging out up there for an hour before we had to line up, but it beat sitting around in my room doing nothing, and I had a lot of nervous energy to burn, so I wandered around with friends in tow.
Eventually, by the golden eagle in front of Gasson Hall, we were instructed to line up and begin the procession. The building was still under heavy repairs, but they made sure we had a way to get through. We went in Gasson from the back – a door I hardly remember using, but nevertheless I did that day – and came out through the main door facing O’Neill Plaza. Before leaving, however, I remember a random girl asking if I could take her picture by the Archangel Michael statue in the center of Gasson. In fact, that happened a few more times along the way, notably when we passed the St. Ignatius Loyola statue by Higgins.