Looking back at Tech through the lens of memories

Photo by Casey Gomez

A swan song is an idiom used to represent a final act or accomplishment before either dying or retiring. It is an exit of ineffable beauty, a graceful and dignified end. In all realness, I imagined the end of four years at Tech to be more dramatic for me than this denouement. I feel like I should be called the shepherd boy, or rather girl, who cried wolf.

I graduated from high school four years ago, to go on to college. In two weeks, I will be graduating from Tech with a B.S. In approximately five years — hopefully — I will be graduating with a Ph.D. also from Tech.

I will miss my important role at the Technique as a key player in the number of cat photos printed in the issues and will not forget the staff outing to watch a documentary on street cats. As is made clear, cats were a defining point of my career at the newspaper, along with a Mr. Clean cutout in a Superbowl commercial themed article. I will enjoy picking up future copies and seeing all of the new topics the staff decides to write about.

When you enter Tech, as the adage goes, you look to your left and then to your right. There is a chance that the student on the left drops out and a chance that the one on the right shoots to the front page of Wired or Forbes magazine. As I look to my left and right today, I see friends leaving for California and Texas while I remain here.

We are all ready to start a new chapter, some of us less ready than others. At the very least Tech has taught me how to live on the dregs of my pantry when I forget to go to the grocery store. Nevertheless, the stars in our eyes that slowly dimmed when labs and assignments piled, have been burning brightly since the sky is the limit now.

As a departing, just for the summer after graduating, soon to be a true student alumni, I have a lot of opinions.

My farewell ode to Tech would ask for a requiem for my blood, sweat and tears — or at least a statue that looks better than the Einstein we have. Better construction planning because Atlantic Drive has single handedly ruined all my commutes every single day this year. Make the credit hours more accurately reflect the time spent doing work for a class, because a 12-hour lab among other long labs and weekly homework is worth way more than two hours.

Still, I say this to the students who are not done: enjoy your life, sometimes a great memory is worth more than an “A”.

Tech is hard, and there are times when you can’t go to dinner or watch a movie because you need to study for that Orgo exam or the circuits final. I don’t quite recall my grades for my freshman year. I don’t even remember all my professors from then. I do remember being tossed through an inflatable obstacle course on Burger Bowl that year and looking out at the Atlanta skyline from a Ferris Wheel during my first Sting Break.

These last few weeks for me are a mad scramble as I finish Senior Design, try to eat at all the restaurants I always said I would try out and hang out with my friends before we all leave for different corners of the country. It will be weird spending my nights after graduation not staying up until 3  a.m. playing cards before an exam or discussing the merits of cannibalism or turning into lizards. Making fun of freshman still wearing lanyards will feel a little empty without my fellow seniors.

I know when I come back next year and walk to class, I will remember my not so brief dalliance with canvas shoes in the rain and the lovely petrichor that follows. Recalling a state of oblivion induced by spending long hours in Van Leer, where you don’t notice if it is raining outside or when the hours tick by. Most deliciously, when a Chick-fil-a milkshake or Highland Bakery muffin is a panacea for all my troubles.