Now that I'm back home for my third college summer, I can't help but think about how I've started the beginning of the end: my senior year.
Once I return back to campus in August, I'm going to start counting down the first of many lasts: my last fall semester, last homecoming, move-in and so much more. Even as I hear seniors tell me that they didn't think that they'd be ready to leave college and now they are, I still can't believe that I'll be ready for the real world in less than one year.
I am more or less terrified to leave college. Everything that I've ever known has been school. From the time I was 4-years-old, I remember preparing for the first day of school at the end of the summer. The biggest change I've experienced up to now has been moving away to college, and now college has become my second home. Now, it's second nature for me to start packing my car in August and make the 2-hour drive down to school but, soon enough, that's going to be taken away from me.
Watching the freshmen on campus talk about how fast their first year flew by and how they don't want to be sophomores makes me just want to tell them to cherish every single second you have on campus because, before you know it, you're going to be the oldest and question how that could possibly be true.
This time next year, I will (hopefully) know where I'm working after college, what my final GPA will be, and will be packing up my bags and driving home for the last time in my college career. Writing that sentence makes me sad, nostalgic, worried, and uncomfortable all at the same time. I don't want to go out into the scary, unknown world that is adulthood and it has always seemed like it was some distant future, until now.
Now, I feel like I have to make every second count. Every minute spent studying on campus late at night, drinking wine with my roommates or at brunch after an excruciatingly painful workout class will be cherished. I feel like I really have to make use of my polaroid camera next year and make sure that I'm actually living with no regrets because I truly am running out of time.
I finally understand the Andy Bernard quote, "I wish there was a way to know you're in 'the good old days,' before you've actually left them."
For now, all I can do is prepare for next year by looking through cool Pinterest pages, planning weekend trips with my friends and occasionally think about my future. Even though I know adulthood is inevitable, I also know that college isn't over yet. So, as I start to count down the first of the lasts in my mental calendar and try not to panic, I'll remember that, even though these have been the best four years of my life to date, post-grad has a lot to look forward to, too.