The time has come at the end of the year when you want to press pause, rewind, and the play again. The want to go back in time and relive all the memories of the school year comes swiftly and is all-consuming.
Friends are saying their goodbyes in the street for the summer, laughing through the tears because they say that laughing will help them feel less sad. The summer is coming, and the stormy clouds of spring are pushed away. It’s almost unfair to have to say goodbye just as the days are getting longer, the nights are shorter, and the aspect of fun becomes more prominent.
You have your friends back home, but it’s not the same. These are the people who you have been with for 9 months. Friends who have seen you at your lowest point with school, life, and love. They are the people who fought right alongside you to make it to the end of the year. They have become your new family, a home away from home.
Some of these people have been close all year, while others are new additions to the family. Whether they fill the role of a big brother or sister, a moral compass, or a love interest, they are all integral parts of your life.
It almost seems unreal. You see the cars driving away in the distance and some part of you hopes that it’s only for the weekend, but you know in your heart those people will be miles away within the day.
The late-night study sessions are now a thing of the past, and for the next three months, you’ll play in the sun all day and dance underneath the stars at night. Saying goodbye to textbooks and exams is never hard, the promise of excitement and adventure is always a great treat. It’s the memories and the people that you are going to miss, that is the hard part.
Those late-night walks to the pier at 11 p.m. at night and the talks till 4 a.m. in the morning are paused for the summer. The trips to the international house of pancakes before training and the midnight ice cream fests may have stopped, but the memories are forever there, and the friendships are even tighter.
It is a bittersweet moment to say goodbye, so I think I’ll just say see you later. Our school shenanigans are on pause for a moment and it’s sad, but I stop and realize how grateful I am for all the experiences my friends have given me.
I have never felt as free as I have this year, and it is all thanks to them. Caring for me, showing me it’s okay to be quirky, and loving unconditionally are all things that my friends have done for me.
I take what I have learned, and I thank them for it.
Then I step back, close my eyes, and take a breath. Letting it go I step out onto the road of my next adventure: Summer 2018.