This time of year is a strange one for anyone still in academia. People are finishing up things and leaving. With all of this comes a lot of change in identity. If you’re graduating, you’re no longer a student. Something that was just recently a huge part of your identity is now gone. You’re an adult. Many students are also packing up and leaving the area in favor of “home” – yet something else that changes identity in this time. I stay around for the summer, and Worcester changes too. Parking spaces are much less difficult to find, you see your neighbors out for a stroll, and everything has a nice, clean, healthy feel to it. Perhaps it’s just the welcomed difference of green replacing the white, but the city does seem different in the summer. I feel more like a part of it than a part of campus.
So where does the title of this post come in? Later today, I’ll don my uniform for work. Like many people who work a less-than-amazing minimum-wage job, it consists of a red polo, black pants, and a visor (I’ll let you choose which of the 1,000 or so places that could be). I walk through a neighborhood filled with a lot of my fellow students and also pass by our field house where student athletes are usually milling about or practicing. Suddenly, I’m no longer a part of that sphere. Once I put on my uniform, I no longer feel like a student. It’s a very strange feeling, but these slight changes really do make a difference, and I doubt any of them would acknowledge me in the same manner.
Soon it won’t be an issue though. Students will move out, leaving all of their clothes in the donation bins in the dorms and their furniture in piles on the street. We’ll see if we can fit one more chair in the kitchen and bid them farewell until late August when the whole show starts again with fresh faces. I’m glad I’m sticking around for the summer.