The reality of graduation hits seniors this season.

Brooke Nowakowski | Co-Editor-in-Chief

My bedroom could be mistaken for a corner of the North Pole. Little flurries of white are banked against my bed and spilling forth from the rim of a trashcan; creeping up on the windowsill like some paradox of a snowstorm. Inside the warmth of home, I can amidst my personal blizzard while gazing out at the lukewarm expanse of equatorial San Antonio in its perpetual shades of green and winter-sky gray.

However, my winter wonderland has nothing to do with snow. Well, almost nothing. You see, since the beginning of October, a front of college-related papers has decked the halls, kitchen counters, and stairwell of 21606 Roan Bluff. This home’s other inhabitants would prefer to forget the significance of said documents, but, much like the Christmas holiday, reminders were visible long before Halloween.  Even Saint Nick would cringe at the amount of mail that has arrived in the name of that great unknown; COLLEGE.  In lieu of Justin Bieber CDs and Barbie dolls and pricey electronics, these sappy missives listed majors, scholarships, and the many glories of living in beautiful Tempe, Arizona (yes, Arizona State University, I am looking at you).

And it cast a shadow over the holidays. Because Halloween was not “Halloween”, and never would it be again. It was, as my father remarked, the last Halloween. As some are reminded of their own mortality in moments of peril, we as a family were made to realize that, for the first time, a child was on her way out. Later celebrations played out in similar form. Thanksgiving could not be a simple matter of football and carbohydrates. On the contrary; as we loaded our plates and poured the sparkling cider, I shared a sidewise glance with my mother, my father, my brother. Even the dogs, typically eager for a cut of the feast, seemed uneasy. Sure, we saw this coming. From the time a child is born, there tends to be an understanding that, if nothing goes terribly awry, the child will tie his own shoelaces, make several questionable decisions with regard to hair color and piercings, and, finally, become independent. Leave the nest. Find her own way. The euphemisms are varied, and I’ve used them all at some point in the past months.  But somehow, I never thought it would happen to me. Or, rather, happen to us.

As I said, my winter wonderland is not entirely distant from the notion of a White Christmas. The strife of this transition is extended by my wait for notification from one notoriously cold and wintry corner of this nation, where the school of my dreams resides. I would consider acceptance an early present to end all others. Yet, like this final Christmas, that joy would prove wholly bittersweet. Though this is not the last Christmas, it is an end to the holiday as I have known it; a buildup of days and carols and advent sermons and ‘Elf’ marathons in the family den. I don’t know what will change, and I can’t say that it will be better or worse. I only know a truth which I have read and re-read over the years, only to just now fathom it.

“Ah, when to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

To yield with grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?”

–          Robert Frost

Ready or not, for the Class of 2012, a season is ending.

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About The Author

Brooke Nowakowski is a senior at Johnson, and very glad to be. When she isn't waging wars in red ink as one half of the dynamic Tsai-Nowakowski editorship, she enjoys Latin Club, academic U.I.L. competition, and throwing for the Varsity Track and Field team. This past summer, she was a foreign exchange student at Shuri High School in Naha, Japan. In the future, she hopes to further expand her horizons with additional language study and travel. Her hobbies include blogging, swimming, and taking lengthy road-trips in the backwoods of the American South.

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