This weekend we celebrated Halloween. My friends had a TV and movie-themed Halloween party. I was Tinkerbell. My friends, for the night, were Pocahontas, I Dream of Jeannie, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Audrey Hepburn in the little black dress, among other things.
But this year, we were something else for Halloween, too. For one day, we were college students again.
We went to the Mods (the senior townhouses that are BC’s big party dorms). We drank beer. We played beirut. We went to the football game. We sang “For Boston.” We had a party and we saw our friends who no longer live in Boston. And we wished with all our hearts that we could be back.
I was in the chorale in college, and every year during Parents’ Weekend, the Boston Pops did a concert to raise money for scholarships. The chorale got to sing with them, and my sophomore year, we were having our dress rehearsal with the Pops and Keith Lockhart. Among our songs was “Our Time” from the musical Merrily We Roll Along. Among the lyrics:
Something is stirring, shifting ground …
It’s just begun.
Edges are blurring all around,
And yesterday is done.
Feel the flow,
Hear what’s happening:
We’re what’s happening.
Don’t you know?
We’re the movers and we’re the shapers.
We’re the names in tomorrow’s papers.
Up to us, man, to show ’em …
It’s our time, breathe it in:
Worlds to change and worlds to win.
Our turn coming through,
Me and you, man,
Me and you!
Cheesy, yes, but catchy and great for graduations or anything involving students.
After we’d rehearsed it, Keith Lockhart said, “Is anyone familiar with the musical Merrily We Roll Along?” No one was, so he went on to explain what the song meant. The show, he said, ran backwards, and “Our Time” was at the end of the play. It starts when the main characters are two bitter old men who hate each other.
Well, thank you, Mr. Lockhart, for ruining this song for me.
I’m twenty-two, an age that sounds young even to me. I’m in my first real job. I have absolutely no idea what my future holds. I like to think that all kinds of things are still possible– I can hit the jackpot with my writing career, make a career switch, fall in love, get married, have kids, see the world, own my dream house, buy the gorgeous clothes I see in store windows instead of fantasizing about them, accomplish all the things I’ve always meant to do.
But there’s a nagging part of me that keeps thinking of this book I read recently called When They Were 22. It tells about how all these famous people—everyone from Oprah to Ernest Hemingway to Jane Goodall to Brad Pitt—had some major turning point in their lives when they were 22 that jump-started their careers.
So I kind of keep wondering, is that going to happen to me this year? Or will I always look back on college as the best years of my life? Is it really my time? Or will I end up like the characters in Merrily We Roll Along?