It’s 4:30 in the morning, and I’m wide awake thinking about move-in day as it rapidly approaches.
Yesterday, I went to the house of a friend who is leaving for her college tomorrow. We celebrated with cake and did our best to pretend that things were still normal. Her mother explained to me that when we move out, life will never be the same. We will never live with our parents full-time again. We will never eat cake while still living full-time in our childhood homes again.
After cake, we went to her room to start the packing process, but as her childhood trinkets were being stuffed into boxes and stories were shared, I excused myself and left for home. The last moments of my childhood will occur over the next fourteen days. In two weeks, I will have most of my life in a few boxes while I move to a different state, away from my parents and everything I have ever known. My future is going to be a dorm room that is not quite home, and my childhood home will be filled with old memories and past friendships.
At the same time, I am beyond ready to finally escape my small town and chase the big city that I have only ever dreamed about. It is an extremely bittersweet moment because everything I have ever known is ending, yet my life is finally beginning. I had my last piano lesson a month ago, and I left sobbing because these lessons have been a key part of my life since I was five years old. My last summer camp as a student left me in tears, as did the question of “When will I make it back to my home in the mountains?” Life has prepared me to go out into the world and conquer it, and I cannot wait to show the world what I will do, but I am currently feeling an odd sense of nostalgia, even though I could not wait to finish high school.
To all of the high school seniors yearning to escape those hallways one last time: run out of those doors, but hold your loved ones close before you say goodbye.
College is incredibly exciting, and I am eager to move into my dorm and begin being the “17 going on 30” adult. Navigating the roommate process is not hard at all, and my roommate and I have discussed who is bringing what to the dorm. I recommend other students do this because it will save you time and money! For example, I will have my car on campus, and she is bringing a television for our dorm room. Balance like this allows you to be able to pick up items at the closest grocery store while streaming a Netflix marathon. Even though I have not met my roommate in-person, I do not have any worries because, well, we are stuck with each other, but I also expect to be friends with the person I will be sharing a shoebox with. Honestly, my nervousness lies with mid-terms, finals, and the stress of college classes. I was so burnt out on academia during high school that I would do my homework in the morning before class and not retain any information. My college tries to steer away from the high school spit-fire memorization, but what if my flame goes out during college? I cannot afford to have my flame burn out, especially because of the debt I’m taking on to attend.
My expectation for college is to be happy. I know that some days it will be a rough journey, but I have waited for this day my entire life. High school seniors and college freshman that are in the same boat as me, just remember that it is normal to wake up at 4:30 in the morning thinking about everything that is going on in your life. Do not make a habit of it, but reflecting on this time is incredibly important.
I have more aspirations than trepidations. These two weeks will contain sweet memories and new beginnings. College, bring it on.