With my last day as a college student fast approaching (tomorrow!) I have tried desperately to avoid the people that I care about the most. I am a firm believer that if you don’t write something on the calender it won’t happen and if you don’t say goodbye it means that you aren’t really leaving. Well sadly, I have found out that my system is flawed. I realized that no matter how much I avoid it, I will have to pack up the truck tomorrow afternoon and leave the campus that holds all my memories from the past 4 years.
College is advertised as, “the best four years of you life.” I can’t begin to tell you how many high school graduation cards I received with those words scribbled inside. What everyone forgets to remind you is that one day, when you least expect it and when you are least ready, those four years end.
There is always someone there to show you the ropes your freshman year, but not a single soul is there to teach you how to leave.
You don’t learn at your college orientation that the people you meet in college are going to be the ones that you hold onto forever. No one lets you know that the really funny guy you hung out with everyday could turn into the love of your life or that the girl who helped you build up your self esteem during field hockey tryouts would become your best friend. No one tells you that the girl you got ‘stuck with’ in the freshman dorms would turn into your biggest confidant or that the girl from your very first recruiting trip, back when you were still seniors in high school, would become your sister. There is no professor in the world that can teach you how to walk away from these friends that turned into family over the years. College can’t prepare you for goodbye.
As I finished packing and preparing for my very last final exam, I realized that I am not at all as ready to leave as I had imagined I would be. I have always lived my life in a hurry. I always run through experiences just to get to the next one. For once I want to stay exactly where I am. I do not want to leave the life that I created here. The carefree life of a college student who stays up late listening to Whitney Houston throwbacks, watches Grey’s Anatomy reruns instead of studying, and can walk to a friend’s room any time of the night to talk (cry). All of these things, these tiny moments that might not mean anything to anyone else in the world, mean everything to me. I wish college had a way of teaching you how to let go of these moments.
For once college has failed me. My professors were able to coach me through Shakespeare and Chaucer, but when it came to preparing me to leave…it failed. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to learn that college ends until now. Or maybe I knew all along. Maybe college purposefully leaves out that detail, allowing you to built relationships, enjoy moments, and live everyday to the fullest without a time constraint hovering overhead. Or maybe college omits that detail to teach us that in life you sometimes just have to figure things out on your own.
What did you learn in college?