I'm in the middle of my last summer vacation, ever. In a few short weeks, I'll be driving back to campus for my last move-in day, ever. That means a few days later I'll be experiencing my last first day of school, ever.
Up until this point of my life, I've known exactly what to expect when the end of August rolls around.
I knew that summer vacation was coming to an end and that I'd have to order my textbooks or finish my summer reading that I'd be putting off all. I knew that I would have to get back into "school mode," go to Staples to get my pens and pencils and pull my backpack out of my closet. I knew that it meant getting back into a routine, seeing people I liked and seeing people I really had no patience for, but still saying hi to them when I passed them all in the hallways.
And, now, this is the last time I'll be expecting these things to happen when the end of August rolls around.
And I'm not sure I'm ready to face that reality just yet.
I don't think I'm necessarily afraid, but it's almost like I'm experiencing nostalgia before I've even made the memory. By this time next year, I'll (hopefully) have a job, be living back home and be in the next chapter of my life. This future chapter is full of uncertainty, questions, and a lot of me hoping I'll figure it out along the way.
The questions that keep racing through my mind include ones like, will I still be able to see my friends on weekends? Where is everyone going to go after college? What's it going to feel like to go back to school for homecoming? How do I adult?
My senior year of high school wasn't filled with any of these emotions. I knew that no matter where I went to school, I was still going to be in school. I would still have to go to class, get good grades and be a student, just like I had to do for the past 18 years of my life. But now, the title "student" isn't going to apply for much longer, and I have to find a new identity to fill that gap.
Even though my first day of school is just another day in the grand scheme of things, I can't help but think of it as the beginning of the end of this chapter of my life. The chapter that's been filled with grades, essays, large cups of caffeine at 10 p.m. (or later) and, for the past few years, friends who have lived a few feet away from me. So, knowing that these upcoming months will be the last ones where that is my life, I'm determined to make the most of them; starting with my first day of class.
People keep telling me that I'll be ready to graduate and leave college behind by the time that May hits. Right now, I can't imagine that being true, but I'm just praying that their judgment is right and they know what they're talking about.
And, who knows, maybe I'll go to grad school.