Today I sat in one of the student centers for four hours or so doing some work for my boss. I guess I just didn't really feel like sitting at home all day. Despite the large amounts of traffic in the area from all the people moving out and families coming to collect their children, campus was empty. I've been there before when it's in that state -- during things like Spring Break and Thanksgiving break. The interesting thing is that I always know that within a few days the crowds will return.
This time, I won't be there when the crowds return. The masses have left the building, and by the time they get back, I'll be home in New Jersey, preparing myself for a five-day-long trip to Oregon, USA.
The dining halls were closed, the retail dining areas were closed. Everything seemed locked up and locked away, so much so that the group of guys I was going to eat with on campus for lunch couldn't eat there anymore. We decided to hit up Waffle House instead (a worthwhile trip, as always). This morning I even went and visited a few friends who were packing up and hitting the road later today. I can't say enough how weird it is to hug someone and not really be sure when (or, even more scarily, if) you'll see them again. I've never been great at goodbyes, but this one is just different. It's almost as if I'm treating it the same as all the others, when in reality it's completely different.
That empty campus feels so strange. The rain that steadily fell today didn't really help the melancholy mood either. Campus is a beautiful place, but without the people, what's left? The sidewalks become hard stark concrete. The grass becomes a simple footpad, a collection for falling raindrops. The mud smears itself over the slopes, and the shades in all the dorms are drawn tightly shut, as per the request of the Clemson Housing Dept. Without people, the campus is a barren village of buildings and parking lots. Without the people, Clemson is a house, but not a home.
This upcoming week I hope we get a nice day somewhere in there so I can head out with the camera and just take a whole bunch of pictures of campus. I really just want a ton of photos that I can remember the place by. And maybe I'll even end up framing some of them; I think that would be pretty great. And in a week? Well I'll join the volition of those masses -- driving North with Clemson, SC in my rearview mirror.