“Wait. You’re going to be here next year?”
I had just told one of my coworkers about my plans to apply for a slightly elevated position (think Supervising Student Employee instead of just Student Employee) at our job next semester when utter confusion clouded her face.
“Ye-es…” I said, equally confused. “I’m a junior.”
“Oh my God! We all totally thought you were leaving this year!”
My boss had the same reaction when I popped my head into her office to ask when the applications would be out. I mean, she seemed excited that I’ll be sticking around for another year, but she definitely thought I was leaving in May.
When I asked another coworker, she said, “Yeahh, I thought you were a junior because you’re the same year as the Commodore, but everyone else seemed so sure you were graduating.”
This is all very strange to me. First off, it’s always weird to find out other people discuss you when you’re not around. I suppose the fact that I’m well-known at work bodes well for my plan to take on more responsibility there. And it’s not like they’re all rooting for me to leave. It’s just strange to think of myself being referred to in the third person in my own absence, a little like realizing that all the people you pass by briefly and think of as extras or one-dimensional characters in your own life in fact have their own three-dimensional lives in which you are merely an extra passing through the background too.
Secondly, this idea of me graduating anytime soon, though terrifying, is quickly becoming a theme in people’s assumptions. “You’re a senior, right?” Um, no. “But you’re graduating early, right?” Again, no. “Are you gonna get an internship for next year?” Maybe I just give off Almost Done With College vibes or something. Or I just appear incredibly mature for someone who is only in her third year (yeah, right). Or somehow, because I was always the Smart Girl, finishing school in the traditional time span of four whole years seems too long, too commonplace to people looking in on my life. But I’m happy here. I’m good at this. So yes, I will be here another year, which puts me graduating right on time – for me.