(Apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda for stealing his tweet to make a comic. Is it stealing if you attribute the tweet? The laws of the internet are mysterious and ever changing.)

Today’s comic comes with another wall of text. Sorry about that.

Approximately one year ago today (it would be exactly if it was May 9th, but alas, time and leap years and all that mess), I graduated with my BFA in Digital Arts, leaving behind the place I had made some sort of home out of for the last four years. I don’t remember the graduation ceremony all too much. They let us sit in any order among our degree, so I was able to sit next to LiZz–one of my best friends and anchors throughout the trials and tribulations of college–despite us being vastly different majors (she’s was 3D/Metals). Our keynote speaker probably said something exciting about our future and potential. He talked about how he helped save animals on the Serengeti. I remember being glad that they pronounced my name correctly when I walked across the stage. That’s about it.

What I remember more importantly are the moments of solace I was able to snag between stressing out about deadlines, internships, and job applications during that year. I wrote about one of these before, the days where myself, LiZz, and Alicia would hang out in the forgotten theater on campus. This one is not nearly so grandiose (or maybe illegal): in our senior year, because we woke up relatively at the same time on the weekends, LiZz and I would often trudge down to the Dunkin Donuts on campus to grab a late breakfast. We didn’t talk much on these weekly journeys: we were usually both still waking up, shaking off the last ghosts of a restless night’s sleep. But no matter the weather, the siren call of a hot breakfast was irresistible, and we often found ourselves walking across campus in blizzard conditions just for an overly-sweetened cup of coffee.

Something about that just sticks with me. It’s simple, and nothing exciting ever happened. But those mornings still feel like yesterday.

One of the most frustrating things about moving back home after college is that the physical community I built around myself at college is gone: I can’t just pop over to a friend’s place and take a walk to get a coffee, because a) everyone lives in different cities, not down the hall, and b) the nearest coffee place is a fifteen minute drive. For all of the stress and existential crises college brought (and, I mean, that hasn’t really gone anywhere after graduation), I cherish the little world we were able to carve out for ourselves, even on the days where I felt like I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed.

When I started college, I couldn’t imagine where I would be when I graduated. When I graduated, I couldn’t imagine where I would be in a year.

So here’s to a year, and the next one. We’re still making art. We’re still here. And there’s still so much to explore.