This draft has been left pending for a while. I have the words in my head and they cannot translate themselves into the written word.
Let me start with this.
I have never wanted to be in one place more than I wanted to be at college. I was pretty darn excited. I don’t know what I expected, but I know I expected a lot. I watched coming-of-age movies, cheap college movies and even got the speech from the parents. Nothing, however, could have prepared me enough for the past three years of my life.
I started off slow. I sat back and watched everyone with their crazy, young hearts that I wanted to be a part of and some, well not. As soon as I found my people, and my place here, I knew I could not have asked for more. I have been a part of a roller coaster ride that has shaken me and ripped me apart and driven me crazy. I have seen and heard things of epic proportions on some days, albeit in a blur. I still did not think I was going to care about this ending. I have never liked an educational institution enough to care about leaving it.
When I started off the final year, I thought I was going to think the same even when I left. I did so many things in the name of doing them “one last time”. I must have embraced YOLO quite seriously along with the rest of the world. I made more friends, found more people to love and saw more things.
Yesterday, walking back through the quad made me realise that this was not just any other day. This was the end. It was finally here. Good riddance? Maybe not. It might have been the striking beauty of our college campus that broke my heart and has always left me with a sense of belonging, but at that moment – I just wanted to fix myself in the center of that court and lie down there under the stars. No, really. Cue the sapster music.
I don’t have much more to say than what has already been said about graduations, leaving people or at parties by us. But, I know one thing has kept me going for three years (and I cannot emphasize this enough) – Words. I have had words keeping me alive, keeping me encouraged, making me feel loved, giving me power that I never thought I had. Use your words well, friends. Like one of us said amidst the noise of fun and (ahem) beach frolic, “We really ARE the best because each one of us has the potential to change the world”.
Begin with your words.
Use them to tell yourself you’ll be fine. Use them to pick yourself up and say goodbye. Use them to tell your real friends how much they mean to you. Use them to build your goals. Use them to let the world know what you’re capable of. Write it, say it, think it. Mean it.
Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it.