Three and a half years ago, I drove to Fort Collins ready to start my college career. I was nervous, scared, sad and excited. I was sad to leave my friends, family and life that I had made for myself. I was excited to meet new people and have adventures. The night before I left I made a playlist called Fort Collins drive. It was 2 1/2 hours of songs that reflected my varying emotions. I tearfully said goodbye to my sisters and my parents followed behind me in a separate car. I cried for about half of the ride.
Today, I drove to Fort Collins ready to start the last semester of my college career. I was nervous, scared, sad and excited. I listened to the same playlist, now 2 hours longer than the original and I cried for about 10 minutes of the ride. This time, there was no one to say goodbye to me, my parents are on a trip and my sisters live elsewhere and already said goodbye a few days ago. The whole time I was home for Winter Break I knew that I would be starting my last semester but it didn’t hit me until a few days ago. I was sitting by myself in my parents’ new house when I got an email that my graduation contract was ready for pick-up… and it hit me. I was about to start my last semester of college. I have no job prospects, no motivation to take the LSAT again, no real plan for the rest of my life and no one to say goodbye to me. Not to mention tens of thousands of dollars of debt. I started to panic.
I move out in exactly four months. I move out of my first apartment. The apartment that I have 3 years of memories of. The apartment where my boyfriend first told me he loved me. The apartment that I brought my first pet home. The apartment where I raged about my last roommate, and welcomed my current roommate. The apartment where I cried about my classes, and celebrated my successes. The apartment where I was able to watch myself grow and change into the person that I am. The apartment that I have made into my home away from home.
Naturally, I start to feel a bit nostalgic every time I think about graduation. I think about receiving my acceptance letter, and attending Freshman Orientation. I think about that first drive up here and all of the others in between. I think about life in the dorms, when making and keeping friends was easy and there was always someone there to give you a hug. I think about my terrible professors and about the great ones. I think about the countless essays I have written, books I have read and all the time I spent procrastinating. I think about the late nights and the lazy mornings. The 8AM classes and the 1AM IHOP runs. I think about the fights, the arguments, disagreements and debates, the tears, the hugs, the triumphs and the failures that I have experienced these past three years. I think about all the times I have spent laughing and all the time I spent wondering, questioning and doubting. Those questions and doubts still find a way to sneak up on me from time to time. Some days, I know how to handle them. Some days, they get the best of me. I have questioned whether or not I deserve to be here. I have questioned whether this is the right path for me. I have questioned if college will be worth it in the end. I have doubted myself, my worth, my ability and my strength. But I have never doubted that I am lucky. I have never doubted that I have been privileged to be here and to have had the experiences I had. I have never doubted that I should feel honored to get an education, to make friends, to have a roof over my head, a family that supports me, a job, and opportunities.
I still have four more months of memories, laughter, failures and triumphs, questions and doubts. I thank each and every one of my readers. I thank my family and friends, professors and classmates that have made these three and a half years so incredible. Let’s make the last four months just as memorable.