By Kamille Robertson
As my final year at college wraps up, I find myself nostalgic for my past experiences yet hopeful for the unforeseen adventures to come.
-Nostalgia: pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.
I remember the day I was accepted to USC. My mom called with the news that a big white packet had arrived. I furiously drove home, repeatedly playing in my head my grandma’s words of wisdom, “If you get a big packet from the school, it means you were accepted. If you get a small letter, it means you weren’t”. I got home and there it was – a big white packet. My mom was already on the phone with my grandmother, crying hysterically. I ripped open the packet, extracted the letter, read the word “Congratulations”, and began to cry as well.
I was not a first generation like many Americans.
– First generation: someone who is the first in their family to attend college.
However, both my mother and grandmother went to college in their 40s, after struggling for years without an education. When my mom had to raise two kids by herself, she knew her degree would be the source of our food. As my mom shed tears of sweat and hard work over her nursing books, she would tell me “The one thing no one can ever take from you is your education”. I have carried these words with me like the books in my backpack.
As I sat in my lectures at USC, I took nothing for granted. I was humbled to be a part of the Trojan family. I walked around campus with newborn eyes and, even 3 years later, I still find myself discovering the beauty of the campus, in the people and in the books. I have made wonderful friends, met talented people and worked closely with a department that has given me an insight to where I might want to go with my future.
Working at the American Language Institute, I am nostalgic for my first day of work and the cut of my hair the day my boss, Shelly, took my picture- it was blonde and pixie cut. I am nostalgic for the students I met over the years. They were all internationals that grew beautifully over their years here. We had that in common.
I am nostalgic for the plays I performed in and the ones I saw. Wearing a corset in the Schooll of Dramatic Arts’ main stage show, The Way of the World, made me feel like a real actress/real woman! Ow.
-Corset: a woman’s tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure.
I miss the talented directors, actors and crew with whom I worked so closely. It is an experience for which I am eternally grateful.
Lastly, I am nostalgic for you, my conversation students. As you read this, I think how wonderful you are and how exciting your untold future is. We are a family and although this chapter of life is closing, we are all like an unbound book. Our pages are constantly being rewritten and moved around from section to section. We are incomplete and beautifully imperfect.
Now, with graduation only a couple of days away, I am anticipant for the unforeseen. After graduation, I will be moving to Paris and, just like my students, I will be wandering the streets of of an unknown city, lost in a foreign language and unfamiliar culture. Exciting! I will keep everyone tuned into my travels and send many postcards. I imagine my stomach will grow from all the cheese and bread I will eat!
Bon Chance on your next great adventure.
Featured image by Keith Parker on Flickr
Kamille Robertson is senior studying theatre at the School of Dramatic Arts. She was born in California but raised in the deep south of Texas. Kamille hopes to land a career somewhere in the world of entertainment, as an actor, writer, costume designer… She is casting a wide net and hoping to find her niche. She has had a variety of experiences from working at Walt Disney World to working as a server at a little surf restaurant on South Padre Island to being a flower girl at the USC Flowershop. Kamille loves to read books, study French and women studies, and of course, watch screen and live performances. She hopes to one day write a book about her experiences, but not for a very long time, she has a lot of life to live.