Verklempt

by Kyla

Ah, exam week, why is it you always take me by surprise? How can I find time for studying in between all the sleeping, napping, Terry Pratchett reading, flirting, and Chopped watching? Yet come you do, at the end of each semester, so as you’d think I’d be expecting you by now.

Oh, exam week, now you are over, and I feel verklempt, because this means I have only one semester left of university. I should be happy, shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t I be dancing – possibly naked, possibly across a lawn? Or singing? Perhaps jumping up and down whilst wearing a sparkling bonnet? But, no, exam week, right now I can’t decide if I should cry for sorrow or for joy.

Yes, exam week, I miss you already. Now that the semester is done I see that I will soon have to leave the bubble, and I so do not want to leave the bubble. I love university. I love everything about it: the learning, the talking, the professors, the students, the library, the wonderful Christmas-y delight of a new batch of books each semester, the conversations before, after, and occasionally even during class. So it is with sadness, actual real sadness, that I see the end of the road before me, that I see that for all intents and purposes, despite a semester left to go, it’s as though I am already done.

But still, exam week, this delights me. Not because I want to be done -clearly not – but because when I started here three years ago I was sure, sure, I’d drop out, or flunk out, or get kicked out, just ’cause. I was 35 when I began university; with an nine-year-old and a five-year-old that I was (and still am) raising on my own, so I had, it seemed, barriers both real and imagined.

Now I am 38. I have a twelve-year-old and an eight-year-old that I am raising on my own. And, exam week, I don’t think I’m going to drop out or flunk out or even just get kicked out. I think I’m going to graduate at the end of next semester, graduate in spite of all times that I told myself over the last, oh, twenty years, that there was something fundamentally wrong with me (stupid? lazy? maybe stupid, definitely lazy) that made it so I’d just let myself down if I tried university again. But three years ago, exam week, I decided not to let all those fears stop me. I don’t know why I decided that – the fears were still there. And, now, let me repeat:

I don’t think I’m going to drop out or flunk out or even just get kicked out. I think I’m going to graduate at the end of next semester.

So you see, exam week, why I’m feeling so verklempt? It’s really just because of all the ways that I love you; how can I help but already miss you?

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