Sometimes I feel like I’ve already outgrown this place. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it here or that I am not going to miss it after I graduate. When someone has the audacity to utter the words, “you’re leaving”, it still leaves me feeling like I’ve been stabbed in the chest. But most of what I yearn to hang on to is already gone. I feel nostalgic for things that I can’t get back.
Most of the people who have helped me grow throughout my college career have already graduated. The rest of them are in the same boat as me. We’re trying to figure out our futures while everyone else is trying to figure out their Friday night.
I’ll never be that 19 year old going to her first mixer again. I’m old enough to buy the crappy beer that they hand out at frat parties. I’m not amused by freshmen shenanigans – I would much rather sit on my porch or a barstool with good friends and good beer. Even when I do go to parties, it’s not like I make new friends – I leave with the same squad I walked in with. I didn’t make my friends in a basement, I just brought them with me.
And I’m not saying that I’m not open to the idea of meeting new people and making new friends. I met one of my closest friends less than a year ago. But I’m not into the five million acquaintances thing. I’ve always been a fan of the “4 quarters is better than 100 pennies” quote. I know who I’m going to talk to after graduation. Who will bother to keep in touch and come visit when and I end up God knows where for vet school.
Despite the fact that no one ever wants to say “the G word”, the inevitable truth is that it is coming. And we are allowed to enjoy ourselves in celebration of all the hard work we have put in during the last few years. But I’m really excited for what the future holds for me. Yes, there are a lot of unknowns, but I have always figured it out before.
One of my professors really likes to tell people to never believe anyone who says that these are the best days of your life. Not when they say it about high school, or college, or any other stage of your life. Because generally, when you ask people in retirement, they are wise enough to tell you the truth – that their lives then are the best days of their life. There is something to look forward to after graduation. In every step of my life, I will be wiser and have more experience under my belt than I previously did.
I would never want to go back and be that naive freshman who tried to hide her tears as she hugged her parents goodbye for the first extended period of time she would ever be away from them. She’s been through a lot of crap that I don’t really want to live through again. If I could go back and give her some tips, that would be cool, but she survived. She came out stronger and wiser. A professional woman ready to enter the world.