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So, in a few weeks, I will be actually graduating from college.
I will be actually leaving this place that has been my home and sanctuary for the past four (well, four and a half for me) years. I’ll be leaving the place that I have become so familiar and comfortable with, the sights that I am so used to seeing and appreciating: the buildings, libraries, coffee houses, people.
This is a thought that has been impending on my mind forever. Since starting college it has always basically been a countdown of how much time I have left here. A year went by already? Im half way done? Only a year left? Only a quarter?
The countdown stings a bit more these days. I have two months left. A month. Three weeks. For some reason this fact is one that my human emotion is hardly capable of actually understanding. Sure there’s a little bit of realization now and then, but I don’t think my mind really gets that this time I won’t be coming back. I’ve left this place for long periods of time, sometimes even months, and I have always come back afterwards to the same home, friends, and settings. I might have fooled myself once or twice by going abroad or home for the summer, but to here I have always returned. But, not this time.
This place I call home will soon turn just be a very, very fond memory. It will be what I will surely call some of the best years of my life; times when I was reckless and carefree and was allowed take more risks and find out how to come into my own.
I won’t be able to come back to this time again. I can come back to this place, and I can come back to some of these people, but I won’t be able to come back to this time, This precious time I have a few more weeks of, right now. But how do I appreciate it? How do I make the most out of the few weeks I will ever have left of my college experience?
I’ve been here for a long time, though. Four years is what you get here, and four years is what I’ve spent. I’ve gotten four years of amazing memories that have helped me grow into the person I am today. Looking back now, freshman year seems like way more than four years ago, although looking back it also seems like it was yesterday and all flew by in a snap.
I’ve done my time, I’m older, and if I really think about it, it is honestly time for me to take this step towards growing up a little. No matter which way you look at it, you get to be childish in college. It’s been great living like this, but my time has come. Of course I’ll still always be childish… but just in different ways.
This is the point where I connect the rest of my life with what I am doing now. There has always been this rift between what I could see myself doing in the future and what I was doing at that point. And this is because, well, I have always been in school. The future was always a distant idea full of possibility and wonder, which would happen at a much later time when I had finished school and grown up. But, this is the connecting point. This is when I start that future. This is when I start filling up the empty space of possibility and wonder with my own real story, and start filling in the pages of the empty book that is my life.
This is something to be so, so excited about; I am finally losing the rigid structure of schooling from my life and am facing the opportunity to do what I want with the only life I have. I can start doing all the things I’ve always dreamed of doing, chasing all the dreams I’ve always dreamed of chasing, and experiencing many things that have always seemed to me like a distant possibility. Of course it will be sad to leave this place I love, and I will keep the memories with me forever, but the excitement of getting to start my future is something much happier. It’s difficult to see this at times, but it’s true. It doesn’t mean I am a real grown-up (I’m far from it…), it just means the training wheels are finally off and I can ride freely through life, bouncing through different opportunities like a pinball being channeled towards what I will end up doing with my life.
(I wrote this last year before I graduated. Obviously it has passed for me but is relevant to the current Class of 2015. Congrats to you all:)