I’m Not Ready to Leave School (My Last First Day of Undergrad)

“If you’re this upset about it, maybe you should start seeing your therapist again.”

That’s what my mom said as she was driving me to the airport to come back to school yesterday. I look at her, she’s not wrong to say it. But how did this chapter that I have been oh so looking forward to closing come down to this (yes Paul, I recall you writing a post called “I Miss School Already” and how you tried to warn me this would happen).

I have been dreaming of this day since my freshman year. My first day of my last quarter at college! No more hard exams for hard classes, no more pressure about grades, no more silly boys, no more drama, no more about what I hated about college. I was so ready for this new less-stressful chapter to begin.

indexBut today, on this very gloomy Monday, I went to my last first class of undergrad and that all changed. And I realized some other things. No more going out to celebrate when I get that awesome grade on a test/class I’ve been dying to pass. No more taking late night long walks in the beautiful city of Chicago. No more being a mentor/TA for freshmen students. No more being President of one of the largest cultural groups on campus. No more “Mr. Photography dude”. No more “Sidekick”. No more Mariam. No more Harris. No more “Z”. No more “Heart”. No more “Prince Player”.

No more of the things and people who helped me grow as a person.

Sure, it was really hard to submit that assignment before the Professor’s Dropbox closed at midnight. It was also hard to spend my weekends drowning in Biology and Chemistry books. It was hard the day I found out I had ADHD. It was hard when my family moved away. It was hard that day I found out about “Prince Player” and cried on the bathroom floor for 6 hours. It was hard when I found about “Heart” and cried on my bedroom floor for 4 hours.

But, you know what wasn’t hard? It wasn’t hard to let “Prince Player” walk me home on my very first day of college years ago when I had what I thought was the worst day of my college career (I had many more worse days, and no one, not even player was there to comfort me). It wasn’t hard to go up to introduce myself to “Heart” at a party my Sophomore year (after I had a horrible year the year before). It wasn’t hard to fall in love with him shortly after that, the first person I have ever truly loved! It eventually wasn’t hard to let him go, when I knew that was what he really wanted. It wasn’t hard to celebrate with my friends each time I was asked to TA a new class. It wasn’t hard for me to hear all the nice things my students said about how I impacted them in some way. It wasn’t hard for me to present the number of research projects I have done while in Undergrad. It wasn’t hard to launch my mental health campaign that was originally just a class project- but with the help of my classmates and Professor, became something more. It wasn’t hard accepting the offer to intern at one of the best university’s in the country as I searched for internships. It wasn’t hard accepting my election win of being Vice President (eventually President) of my favorite club on campus. It wasn’t hard celebrating when I finally made the Dean’s List.

It wasn’t hard to invest time in the topics and people that interested me. College reinforced these things in me and helped me find what I was passionate about. College was structure and freedom all in one piece. Where will I ever get this again?

How have some of you coped with leaving college? Comment below- I’m really struggling!

xoxo. S.

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8 thoughts on “I’m Not Ready to Leave School (My Last First Day of Undergrad)

  1. This is exactly how I felt. It felt like the person I had become was getting ripped away from me as soon as it was all over. Just make sure to smile as much as you can this last quarter and don’t leave with any regrets.

  2. I second Paul’s suggestion. I went to college in a small town and decided to try and stay there after I graduated. I got a job and an apartment because I refused to move on. The thing is, all the things and people I thought I was holding on to? They moved on without me. I spent a year of my life trying to cling desperately to the scraps of a life that didn’t want me anymore. I’m not saying that’s everyone’s experience after graduation. But I look back and sort of wish that, after I had that really good cry the day after graduation, I had really turned the page to the next chapter. I’m not saying I regret living my first year of adulthood in Bluefield. I learned a lot about myself and the people I thought were my friends in that time. I learned some hard lessons that I still carry with me today. Whatever you do, make the most of the time you have with the people you love. Because no matter what happens or where you go in the future, those are the times you’ll look back on that’ll make you smile.

  3. It wasn’t really hard because I was overwhelmed with graduating. But, on graduation day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was entering the next part of my life and I wondered was I truly ready? I realized that this was another milestone that I was crossing and there would be many more…my wedding day, birth of my first child, buying my first home, etc. I was going to be both scared and excited and do my best.

  4. Leaving college was exciting and hard all at the same time. Part of me was ready to be done and leave that place. Part of me didn’t want to leave my friends and the place I felt comfortable. Part of me was super stressed out when my daily routines were no more. I focused on the part of me that was ready to move on in life and see what next great adventure was ahead. You might hit a rut for a while. (Don’t worry. Mine was 8 months ). Soon enough you will find a new routine and new players (not the bad kind) in your life.

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