On top of the world (or at least the Segal Visitors Center)

Left to right: Ike Bryant, J.J. Post, myself and Ben Fagell pose on the top story of Segal Visitors Center. Photo by Cam Medrano

The entire time I’ve been at cherubs, I’ve felt on top of the world. From the time I sprinted down Sheridan Road to ask dancers for a story about the Fourth of July parade to the time I jumped up and down during a third-floor dorm dance party, every moment has been exhilarating.

On the last Sunday of the program, eager for an adventure, Cam Medrano and I took the elevator to the top of the Segal Visitors Center. Don’t worry: It’s an approved spot for visitors to park cars and admire the view.

Seven stories up, a glass and stone parking structure with the best view on campus became home to end-of-summer sentiments and hundreds of sunset pictures.

About a dozen other cherubs were already gathered on the rooftop balcony, which provided incomparable views of campus, Lake Michigan, Sheridan Road and Chicago.

Over the two hours we spent on the roof, we laughed and squinted from the flash of cameras as we recalled highlights of our spontaneous trips to the Lakefill, long nights in our writing rooms and the cherub versus instructor volleyball game.

Annie Rubinson and I smile in front of the sunset. Photo by Cam Medrano.

In five short weeks, we’d gone from asking stale questions about each other’s school publications to hearing about everyone’s dreams for the future. Getting to know the other cherubs was freeing: I could talk about anything with them. Whether it was a tough assignment at cherubs or something I was struggling with back at home, I knew that every one of them would listen, no matter the hour.

For the first time, I was in a place where everyone was passionate about journalism and about when it was time to capitalize a certain word or insert a hyphen. As we looked out over the lake, we exchanged original handshakes and hugs, promising each other this summer wouldn’t be our last together.

My heart began to race. In only one summer, on top of Segal, on top of the world, everything had changed.