Growing up and graduating… almost

Lexikay Stokes, Campus Carrier Opinions Editor

One of my all-time favorite movies is the 1980s classic, “St. Elmo’s Fire”. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, what time of day it is, or what mood I’m in, I’m always eager to watch it. I’ve annoyed my family and friends with “you should watch it! It’s the best!” on several occasions, and, still hold true to my opinion that it is the best movie to come out of the decade. As I have gotten older and have continued watching it, I’ve noticed that every time the movie is over, I walk away with a different idea about the intended meaning. One thing remains the same, however. By the time the credits roll, I’m always left with this sense of sadness for something which I haven’t even experienced yet; graduation. 

The real world. St. Elmo’s Fire is set in the aftermath of college graduation. Following five best friends in the transition between college and entering the post-graduation world, St. Elmo’s Fire shows the reality of leaving behind the four years of comfort and community and having to live in the world of full-time jobs and taxes. Even after watching St. Elmo’s Fire for the first time when I was around 13 years old, I remember the empathy I felt for the characters. From such a young age I could see the sadness and longing for times which were now in the characters’ past. Now that I’m in college, I can feel that sadness gripping my heart, even as a sophomore. 

I’ve always been a rather sentimental type. Sad movies do in fact make me cry, and thinking about being separated from friends makes me a little sick to the stomach. I think the weirdest thing though is that I feel this now, while I still have over two years left here in the bubble. I know this whole spiel sounds cliché and a little like premature worry. But, if there’s anything St. Elmo’s Fire has taught me (if I haven’t convinced you yet to watch it, you should) it’s that graduation comes quicker than one might expect, especially when you’re having fun. 

Right now, we’ve all begun to get into the depths of the first semester. I’m sure homework has begun to pile on, as have the out of school commitments. With this new stress building up, it’s easy to begin to wish away these years in exchange for life outside of Berry. In that life, we’ll start jobs which we hopefully will love, start families, and begin a whole new chapter. And while that new phase in our lives will be amazing in its own way, the one we’re in the middle of now is still equally as important. 

The friends of “St. Elmo’s Fire” have gradually shown me more and more over the years the value of appreciating the moment. Be intentional with your time, and make an effort to appreciate what’s happening around you. One day, two and half years from now, I’ll most likely be living somewhere away from Rome, without my friends just a door down the hall, the library to attempt doing homework, or d-hall to catch up in over lunch, and that will be a sad day. Until then, I’m going to make an effort to live in the moment a bit more.

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