I did it.
I graduated high school, on time, with so many loved ones by my side. I took the required courses and joined so many extracurricular activities in order to receive that one piece of paper that is supposed to change your life for the better.
But this is just the beginning.
As the summer of 2017 comes to an end, life's greatest adventure is just ahead. Am I worried? Absolutely. Am I excited? Of course. There are so many emotions going on with less than a month before I attend the school of my dreams, but I know that these past 18 years has led me to this very moment.
Life moves so fast.
This may sound crazy, but I still remember my first day of kindergarten. Both of my parents drove me to school with an old video camera (that they still have) and kept the camera on me the whole time. My smile did not leave my face and I was eager to start school and meet new people.
They were both there for my first day of high school, with the same video camera of course, and watched me walk into a completely new atmosphere and take on (what I thought) was life's biggest challenge.
As I prepare for my first year of college, they will both be there with, you guessed it, the same video camera. The only difference is that they will not watch me walk away, I will watch them. I will no longer come home to the house I have called home for the past 18 years. I will no longer sleep in the room that has seen me cry, scream into a pillow, or get a restless night sleep because I was smiling so much. There will be no more home cooked meals, hearing my little brother scream into his microphone on his Xbox because his teammate accidentally killed him, or hearing my mom and dad laugh uncontrollably.
How can anything prepare me to leave all of this behind?
The truth is nothing can. No matter how many dual credit classes I took in high school, how many things I buy for my dorm or how many articles I've read, nothing can prepare me for leaving the only place I have ever called home.
But it's time.
It's time for me to start this new and exciting chapter. It's time to call my dream school my home and it's time to start learning what life really has to offer.
But I could not have done it without some amazing people.
Thank you to everyone who had led me to this moment. Thank you to my parents who have somehow managed to put up with me in every way possible. Thank you to my high school for showing me how to come out of my shell. Thank you to my grandparents for providing me with everything that I may (or may not) need. And thank you to Saint Mary's College for allowing me to be apart of an amazing community.
Moving to college is life's greatest challenge, but I am more than ready for it.