On the one hand, I know it's time for me to go. The people I am closest to have graduated or are graduating, and for the first time it's starting to feel like an obligation instead of a privilege. There's a very real risk of me just taking over, these days, and it's not fair to the other students.
But oh, I am going to miss it so much. This is the one place where I felt like I might actually belong. Where I knew what I was doing. It's almost disturbing how much it's under my skin, and how much it's become a part of my identity.
Without the magazine, and without school, I don't know who or what I am. I've defined myself as a college student here for five and a half years, a grad student for three and a half, and a staff member on Laurels for four years. I've helped put out eight issues, and they are my babies. Even as I see everything that I did wrong, or should have done better or at least differently, I still love them, and I'm still proud of them. I can't say that about anything else I've ever created.
This magazine was the reason I kept coming back to St. Thomas. It was the reason I decided to get my MLA. Hell, for a not-insignificant portion of the past four years, it's been the reason I get out of bed in the morning. I've met some of the most amazing people I have ever known, people I love dearly, because of this magazine. Come to think of it, it may well be that every meatspace friend I've made in the past four years has been a direct result of my work on Laurels.
This is the bulk of my memories of this school. This room. The room we decorated with our Wall of Interesting People, and the posters from the Oatmeal, and a wall and a half covered in maps. With the squeaky crab and Bones McGee. I remember the coffin being in here, and when there weren't enough chairs, and how comforting it was to have a key and know I could come here any hour of the day or night and it was okay. The Shadwell Wakes, the bad poetry contests and the dancing. The readings. I missed my first one; my mother had hurt her back and I had to stay home and take care of her. But I remember the others, all seven of them. I was so proud of the reading for "READ ME," so happy that we pulled off our beautiful tea party for our weirdly formatted magazine. And I was so thrilled with how last semester's reading turned out, the first off-campus attempt that went perfectly. There wasn't a huge crowd this semester. I thought I would be crushed by that, but I just felt a little sad, and resigned. Like it was time to go.
And it is.
But oh, I will miss it.
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