As a freshman, my friend Jess told me that the next four years would fly by. Time is a goon.
It’s the weekend before finals, and as I and my peers write term papers and rehearse presentations, I’m faced with bidding farewell to a place I’m privileged to call home. This bittersweet experience makes my throat get tight and my eyes well.
For the first time in four years, I’m going to pack up my room and not move across campus for the summer. I won’t walk into the Office of Residence Life for work and spend my evenings hanging out with friends on the RA staff.
College is this strange time in your life where you are figuring out who you are. A process that doesn’t stop after you put on the cap and gown.
In two weeks I’m going to cross a stage and be given a diploma. A piece of paper that represents my academic achievement. What it doesn’t show is the tears, mental breakdowns, coffee cups, laughter, late nights, and friends I gained along the way.
I grew far more at college than I ever would have anticipated. That growth changed me for the better, even though at times it didn’t feel worth it.
Wherever I end up I will have these memories to look back on. They say when one door closes, another opens. But this feels like more than that. This is more than closing a chapter of my life.
Its hard to imagine that at this time four years ago, I got on a plane and flew to the East Coast for the first time to start my first year at college. And its even crazier to think that my very first year here would set up quite the chain of events that have shaped me so much.
This is my last year as an undergrad. My last year as an RA and ARA, where I’ve learned so much, and found a calling to higher education.
It won’t hit me that its my last year until I’m done with my last final before graduation, or signed off of my last night on duty. Or maybe when I’m showing my family around New Hampshire when they finally come to visit (for my graduation no less).
I went home for my mom’s wedding in April and family that I hadn’t spoken to very much told me that they followed how I was doing on Facebook. They spoke highly of how much I had thrived being away from family and close friends. I wasn’t sure what they meant, and shrugged it off; but I understand what they mean now.
In the last four years I’ve gained confidence. This assurance has led me to doubt myself less – though sometimes those thoughts still sneak in. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. My social circles have changed with new faces.
On Wednesday, my Fall classes for senior year start, and so does my search for grad schools. Part of that search is meeting with many of the people around campus that I can call my mentors. They’ll help guide me in making choices that could steer me in a wide variety of ways.
I have all of my end goals in mind. It ultimately comes down to how I hope to achieve them.
Here’s to senior year.
Comic reviews will return soon! RA training has kept me busy, and I didn’t have time or energy to schedule posts to go up while I was busy. But fear not, I have read several comics that I can write reviews for so that way there won’t be as big of a drought.
Sometimes I think about what I want to do after graduation. I’ve watched a lot of friends graduate from university, and now that I’m entering my senior year, I’m torn with what I want to do. And maybe its not that I’m torn, its that there’s so many choices to make.
I think about grad school, and where I want to go. Do I want to pursue working in Residence Life? Or should I look at something else in higher education?
I think about looking for a job and taking a year or two before going back to school.
Do I want to foster animals or figure out how to buy a zoo? Or work at an animal sanctuary for dogs?
And then I think about moving to a foreign country. Would I go to Spain, England, Germany? Or venture to Romania where I have family via my step-dad? At least right now, I’d want to start in Belgium.
Belgium doesn’t always have the best reputation. At least lately there have been a lot of things that have happened there. But it was a place that won my heart two years ago.
I met some amazing people there, and learned so much. The city was beautiful. And I always want to go back.
I don’t know what I’d do. Like everything else in my life, I’d figure it out. I moved across the country, I think I could manage.
Or how crazy would it be to go volunteer in a foreign country? I’m probably not even remotely the best candidate. But I’ve always loved to help people. It was a huge part of my life from middle school to before I moved out to New Hampshire. Volunteering is what I did.
Figuring out my life after SNHU is what this summer is going to be about. And that thought is both exciting and terrifying.