I haven't exactly kept it a secret that I'm excited to move away from home.
From the moment I stepped onto that campus, when I was a little junior in high school on my very first college visit, I couldn't wait until I was able to pack up and move to school and start the rest of my life.
However, the anticipation is starting to kill me, and although I'm super excited to move in, I'm really starting to realize how many loose ends I have to tie up in the next week and a half.
I just said "See you later" to one of my closest friends from senior year. I knew it was going to be hard, but I really don't think it has actually hit me yet.
I'm not going to miss waking up at 6:30 and peeling myself out of bed and into class by 7:45 every morning. What I'm going to miss is the inside jokes and the effortlessness of my existence in the town I've grown up in.
I'm going to miss knowing exactly what day and time to go to our favorite coffee shops and stores to miss huge lines and crowds. I already miss driving around, running errands together and singing at the top of our lungs to all of our favorite early 2000s hits.
I've made more amazing memories in the past two years than I can really describe, and I'm so thankful for everyone who has made me who I am today.
I know that I'm going to go through more changes in the next four years than ever before — as a person and a student. But I'm so excited for them, and I have my strong foundation of friendships and family to thank for that.
As much as I hate to admit it, my town is a big part of who I am, and I don't think I'll ever be totally and completely ready to say goodbye forever.
Driving around my hometown is like a memory book by itself. I remember late-night Target runs, long study dates in our local coffee shop and early morning trips to our favorite diner because we were positive we wouldn't get through the day without pancakes.
Don't worry, I'm not staying here. I know that I have to force myself out of my comfort zone if I want to grow.
But as this big chapter in my life is coming to an end, I can't help but sit here and feel thankful for all of the people I've met who have helped me grow into the person I am today.
Where I come from is so important to me. This isn't goodbye forever. It's a pause on all of the amazing memories that I have here. I can't wait to make more one day.