Goodbye Freshman Year
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Student Life

Goodbye Freshman Year

Moving forward, marching on.

Goodbye Freshman Year
Erika Rasmussen

It’s odd to say goodbye to a year that made its presence very loud and has shaken my universe upside-down so seemingly quickly, yet dragged along so slowly at the same time. It began, and then it was there, and I was living it, and now it is gone. I swear, it seems impossible in some moments that this past nine months even happened. I declared three majors, and I have kept them all thus far. The options really are endless— how expansive our world is! I met human upon amazing human, each of whom has shaped me in ways I could never have imagined. I explored the beauty of the Bay Area, a place I dare to say has truly become something of a home to me (although Colorado will always have my heart).

As I was looking at a notecard in the library the week before finals, I started staring at it, questioning, as one does, if this was really reality. Ever since I was a little girl, blonde curls bouncing and raving with adventure, college seemed a distant, grown-up phenomenon that I would never reach. And I can hardly believe I am here now, and this is my life, no longer a big-girl-reality on the horizon but something I’m actually existing in.

How is it possible that I have just completed my first year of college? How is it possible that in the fall, it will not have been my first rodeo with move-in, university classes, and the mess that ensues between the average age of eighteen and twenty-two?

This past week, I packed up the room I called home for the last momentous chunk of my fingernail-shaving of time on earth.

Room 203. Home to two (possibly deranged) teenaged women (named Tatiana and Erika) from September 17th, 2016, to June 15th, 2017. A room of laughs. A room of tears. A room of mid-quarter breakdowns coincidentally comprised of both uncontrollable laughter and tears and eased by my lovely roommate's delicious baked goods. A room where no one ever slept because memories were being made and procrastination was a gift.

Clearing out this week was many things. Strange. Difficult. Saddening. Hard to swallow. A whirlwind. A bit relieving, after 9 months of intense change, academic rigor no one could've prepared me enough for, and mountain after mountain that we each scaled and descended from with a lot of help, a lot of love, and a lot of God.

Half of my life is sitting in public storage. Parts of my life were swept out with a dustpan and enough Clorox wipes to make any head spin. Files remain on my computer that were composed of some majorly heartfelt hours or majorly painful coffee-driven assignment-sprints that I’m not sure I’ll ever bring myself to delete. Some of this freshman life will sit forever (sigh) in a landfill, some will thankfully be recycled into things that other humans may use to create more beauty and magic and life, some will probably stay with me in boxes and piles for quite some time if not forever. And the rest, well. That’s somewhere tucked inside, a part of the woman walking today that has grown enthusiastically and has much yet to learn.

I will miss you, human being that sleeps across from me and loves me despite all the weirdness that comes with sharing a living space with me, which other people don't always get to see.

I will miss you, room with no air-conditioning that never turned my restless heart away.

I will miss you, freshman year that was a doorway from the past life to this new one, an introduction into adultness that, from here on out, seems to be raging on with no end in sight. I hope with all my heart that I never lose my childlike wonder, a wonder the world seems so adamant on trying to rip away.

I will miss you, but I am also glad to move on. Moving forward, marching on, we are. It is good to move on. “It was hard, but it was good.” This is what I usually have to say now as I’m asked about my first year of college, and as ineloquent as that rings to a writer’s ears, it’s the most naked truth in but seven words.

It was hard, but it was good. Kind of like life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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