I didn't really believe the people who told me college would fly by. I vividly remember the days leading up to move-in day freshman year. Finally, my life at home felt like it was falling into place and suddenly I was being uprooted to go to a place I knew literally no one. I dreaded saying goodbye to my friends as we all went our separate ways to start a new chapter in our lives that didn't include one another. I was preparing myself for a miserable few weeks, maybe even months, until I would be home again.
That was 3 years ago and if you told me my college experience would have turned out the way it did I definitely wouldn't have believed you. Contrary to my initial fears I quickly found my niche, a major I mildly enjoyed, and a plan for my future. Everything seemed so far away back then; like we had an endless amount of time to create all these memories, but in the blink of an eye the year was over and I was headed home a completely different person. I couldn't wait to get back, a stark contrast to the previous summer when I half-joked about just dropping out before I even started.
Now all of a sudden I'm getting ready for my senior year, and I'm experiencing a range of emotions I wasn't prepared for. At the end of this year, I know I'll go through the same dreadful denial of life as I know it coming to a screeching halt and taking a new course. The friends I've had by my side through every up and down will go on to start their "adult" lives and we're not going to have the same time to dedicate to each other like we used to. I know that when we all graduate, the people who matter the most will never be too far away, but it will never be the same. Just like when I left home for college, I'm happy with the life I have right now and I'm not ready for it to change just yet.
I have made memories I barely remember but still feel the same drunk happiness just thinking about. I have laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed. I've made last minute decisions to go out and had the best nights and I've had nights where I left the pregame to order pizza and change into sweats. I've met people that I connected with instantly, people I was surprised to befriend, and some straight up toxic people that I didn't cut out of my life soon enough. It's all been a part of the experience and I don't think I would change a single minute of it.
Obviously, I have changed quite a bit since that first move in day. I have learned a lot about myself in the past 3 years; about the person I am and the person I want to be. I've grown more confident, I've found my voice, and I know how much I am truly capable of. I've met people who have shaped who I am, taken classes that made me reconsider the world around me, and have overcome every challenge I have faced in some way.
The only thing that hasn't changed is how much I hate change.
They weren't kidding when they said it's the fastest four years of your life, and each year goes even faster. So often I wish I could freeze time and live in a moment forever. I don't know how things are going to change after this year but I do know that whatever happens will happen for a reason and the experiences I've had will stay with me no matter what.