The idea of April as the cruelest month has always been difficult for us to grasp (even after spending weeks analyzing “The Wasteland” in a literature seminar sophomore year, as Emma did). Yes, the rebirth and joy of spring can make the emptiness of winter more pronounced—but with such a glorious season to enjoy in the present, why bother to dwell on the season that just passed?
But now, as seniors, we get it. April is a very cruel month, showing us Duke in all its springtime glory—gardens in full bloom, students lazing on the quad, the Gothic backdrop beautiful and sun-drenched—right before it is taken away from us for good. Oh, of course, we have seen the alumni association’s Forever Duke brochures and we know that the campus does not disappear when we leave Durham, but never again will we be able to experience it quite like this. No matter how or why or when we come back in the future, it will always be just that—coming back. These are our last days to experience Duke wholly as a present, instead of as a past, and that feels very cruel indeed.
This is not to say that our Duke experiences have been idyllic, or anything close to it. Like those of most students, they have been fractured by stress and frustration, failure and confusion. The longer we have spent here, the more intimately acquainted we have become with the institution’s flaws, and at times, graduation feels not just appealing but necessary.
It is difficult to think in strictly rational terms about graduation and all that comes with it—difficult to view it as anything other than a sudden break that changes everything irrevocably, and whether that change seems good or bad depends simply on the day. But it is probably better to view it not as this sort of break, but instead as an evolution, a natural progression that takes us somewhere different. And just as our own lives undergo this sort of change, so will Towerview. We elaborate on this at the back of the issue, but this is in all likelihood the magazine’s last full print issue, after 17 years on the stands. But don’t fret, it isn’t the end of Towerview—just an evolution to a better form, more suited to the current times. So enjoy this issue, readers, and try to think of April’s change not as cruel but as exciting.
All the best, always,
Emma and Nick