This is it, Iris’s last issue for the 2018-2019 school year, and we could not have been happier to have spent the last several months sharing our thoughts, ideas, and passions with the Iris readership. For many of us, the closing of this year means the closing of our chapters at both Iris and at UVA. On one hand, we all love a good transition. We love the opportunity to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.
I keep a list of things I want in the notes app on my phone (right below my grocery list and right above late-night ruminations on the failures of my life). Some time ago, I would use this “want” note as a safety blanket or a calming mechanism, relishing in capitalistic promises of a shopping high in the face of immediate stressors like exams and papers.
Trigger Warning: Explicit Language
I noticed the word on the board before anything else. I stared at it. It stared back at me. I looked around to see if anyone shared my reaction. I squinted my eyes to study the font. Did he type that out or was it copied and pasted? If he typed it – does that mean he would say it?
Posting a picture to Instagram is an event. The right filter must be found, a witty caption conjured. As likes accumulate, it is as if each screen tap is a reflection on you as a person. Not just the way you look, but also how you are perceived by others. Instagram squares have become extra limbs, a digital body we construct as a grid. This constant need to impress others online can be exhausting. The urge to exhale, to finally be ourselves in a world that requires us to be anything but, becomes a necessity.
As my final semester as an undergraduate college student winds down, and as my time as an intern for Iris comes to an end, I’ve been taking time to reflect on the last four years.
I love Spring as much as the next person. I love when it gets warmer and the days get longer. I love retiring my parka for a few months and opting for a lighter jacket that’s not nearly as heavy. I love that my car isn’t buried in the snow, and that my seasonal affective disorder has taken a hiatus. I love showing off my very pale, very translucent legs in my favorite tennis skort that I wear 5-6 times before washing. Do I play tennis? No. Is this hands-down the most functional item of clothing I own? Absolutely.
In a few short months, after years and years of stress, I will be graduating from college. I know, I’m not supposed to say ‘graduating’ because I go to UVA and we like to be elitist and use exclusionary language, and learning is supposed to be forever, but I’m sorry TJ. Once I get that diploma, this girl is done learning for a while.
The worst year of my life started when I walked on Grounds in the stiff August heat to move in to my first year dorm (sans AC). Red-faced, insecure, and awkward, I felt like an intruder on an intimate scene--as if I had just walked into someone else’s life and didn’t know how to leave.