Remember way back when I told you all about joining a bloggy book club? Yea, I'd nearly forgotten myself, but don't you fret! I read Commencement while I was back in Michigan at the end of September, but just haven't sat down to blog about my thoughts on the book.
I really enjoyed Commencement and found it insanely easy to relate to. Being a (fairly) recent college graduate myself, I understand the different emotions involved with going from spending 24/7 with your girlfriends to navigating your own life while maintaing those friendships. Girlfriends are one of the greatest things in the world, and I know that I made my best friends while in college. They will be my best friends for the rest of my life, but there was still an adjustment period after gradaution. We each went our separate ways with the knowledge that our friendships would last through it all, but we have had to learn to put forth new and different efforts.
Technically, I missed the cut off for linking up with my responses to Book Beginnings and Bookends' Part 1 questions, but that's ok, I can answer them anyway:
1. Which girl do you identify with most?
I'd have to say that I identify most with Celia. I'm not a hardcore feminist like April; or a Southern Belle learning to live with the loss of her mother like Sally; and I'm certainly not a naive, closet lesbian like Bree. That leaves Celia. She's kind of an "every girl", I guess. She was excited to embark on her college adventure, but nervous to leave her family, and once she found her group of friends she was set. After graduation she found a real job that she's not sure is her forever job and she's, sometimes frustratingly, playing the single field. That's pretty much me! Celia relies heavily on her best friends, but isn't entirely dependent; she just knows the true power of girlfriends.
2. If you're a college student or graduate, what similarites or differences do you see between this story to your own college experience?
Similarities: The instant friendships. Mine worked a little differently because I actually met my best friend the summer before classes started, rather than in the dorms, but it was through her and our time spent together in the dorms that I met many of my other friends. The dorms become this kind of little world unto itself with just you and your friends. It's a safe haven, and I think the closeness nurtures a lot of relationships. The culture of college for those 4 years is also something I can relate to: time spent gossiping on the way to class, grabbing countless cups of coffee, studying, fitting in jobs and taking friends home for the holidays is still so very real in my mind.
Differences: Mostly just the big ones: I didn't go to an all-girls school; it wasn't on the East Coast and it certainly wasn't small. Also, ultra-feminism wasn't an every day part of my co-ed college experience, nor was Smith College's stereotypical lesbianism.
3.Which girl do you think has changed the most since her time in college? In what ways has she changed?
I think all of the girls changed after college, but my first instinct is to cite Bree as the most changed since she came to college engaged to her highschool sweetheart and left in a lesbian relationship. Granted that change occured while she was still at Smith, but it greatly affected her behavior and choices after college. It was after college that she faced this decision head-on, battled her family over it and fought for social and personal acceptance.
Look for my responses to Part 2 later this week!
Oh, and if you haven't yet, check this book out; I truly loved it.