I’ve finally made it to college, but it’s still another week until classes start – yes, a whole week of orientation. Barnard is under the impression that acclimating to a new place takes a lot of time and effort. I would like to argue that it’s the good-byes that we should be given weeks for.
During our commencement, many speakers said something to the effect of: “We don’t want to scare you, but Barnard will be your home for the next four years.” They expect us to be intimidated because four years is such a long time; I am intimidated because it is so short.
Another four years of making friends – and, after four years, leaving them again. The worst part of leaving, I’ve found, is not abandoning your closest friends. Your real friends are people you will always make an effort to keep in touch with. The worst part is leaving those people you see in the hallways and occasionally joke around with, whose phone number you never got and who you would never text anyway because you aren’t close enough. They make your experience what it is, and you will never see them again. Those are the real heartbreakers.
Everywhere I go, people tell me that I am going to change. Everywhere I go, they tell me I will make friends for life. “I’m still friends with my high school buddies!” or “I met my maid of honor in seminary!” or “Your college friends will stay with you for life!” So I have gone through high school and seminary, and I have changed a little but remained, essentially, who I was when I started. And in all that time I have made five friends who I still stay in touch with. Out of all of those hundreds of people I am friends with on Facebook. Sometimes I can’t believe how many people I have known once, and how many I don’t know anymore. And I can’t believe how many people I am about to know now, and how many, after four years, I will never see again.
If you are reading this article, I probably knew you once.
If you are reading this article, I might occasionally miss you.
If you are reading this article, I will probably meet you one day.
If you are reading this article, I might miss you one day.
My prayer, on this first day of college, is that this will be the second-to-last time. I want a permanent home after this, with permanent people and no more administrations claiming that they will change me. I want to be who I am, with my friends – content.