Welcome to the future - we made it

Summer King
Photo by Natalie Runyon

The white light seeps in through the slots of the blinds, growing cooler and darker with each passing minute. Music hums in the background. Fingers absently click and clack on the keyboard. With every moment that goes by, we are thrown further and further into the future.

What a wistful, bittersweet feeling to know that we’ve arrived here. We’ve seen how it turns out.

In Disney World, there is an alluring little ride called Walt Disney’s Carousal of Progress. Located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, the Carousal of Progress is a revolving theatrical show that begins at the turn of the century. It takes the audience through four generations of the twentieth century. The final generation lands in what would have then been considered the future. There’s a virtual reality video game and an oven that responds to voice commands.

That’s right now.

Homecoming is here, and I can’t help but wonder how the alumni feel when they journey back to The W. Maybe it has only been one year. Maybe it has been 70 years. All the same, we arrived here at this place. This academic portal that began the journey to the rest of our lives. How different The W must seem from the other side.

As a student, it can be comforting and daunting at the same time. While we have friends, we also have finals. As an alumna, could it be nostalgic? Or whimsical? Maybe it is an experience filled with merriment and all the nice feelings life has to offer.

Next year, I will be face-to-face with whatever the feeling might be. I will be gearing up for Spring Homecoming 2020. What an interesting thing to think about.

I honestly never thought my future would turn out like this. That sounds more ominous than it is. Ten years ago I could only dream of doing the things I’ve had the opportunity to do. I’ve traveled so much more in my four years of college than I did when I was younger. Peru. California. Disney World. I’ve been to concerts. I’m the editor of this paper. Vice President of my social club. Active in my church. These things might seem trivial to someone else, but they all mean a great deal to me. I have always had big dreams, but in my heart I thought I would be in my small, South Mississippi town forever.

But, by the grace of God, I’m here.

The light outside is completely gone now. The buzz from the lamp harmonizes with the clacking keyboard and music that continues to play. The coffee begins to cool. There is a freedom in knowing that I have arrived in the future. And it keeps coming.