A Reflection Upon Starting Senior Year

A Reflection Upon Starting Senior Year

The past three years have been nothing short of a wild ride
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Angie Blackburn Photography

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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