Naturally, in 30+ years, I've had to say goodbye to people, places and things. It's the way of the world, and we all have to prepare ourselves for those moments throughout life. Saying goodbye to people is by far the hardest, however tonight, I'm writing about a goodbye I rarely ever think about. My goodbye to college life.
I was 17 years old when I first went away to school. I was excited, nervous, afraid and eager to start the latest chapter of my life. I was surrounded by friends old, and new. Saying goodbye to family back home, wasn't nearly as hard. I was homesick for a bit, but got over it quickly. So much so, that after the first year, I started to come home less and less. Coming home made me feel out of place after a while. Like I didn't have a true home. Sure I could sleep over at my aunts, or one of my parents homes, but none of those places felt like home to me. College was where I started to build a life of my own, and it became the only place I felt like I belonged truly.
I got used to going to class, working and hanging out with what became my support system. My friends and I were everything to one another. We laughed, cried and survived together. At times, we truly felt like we were all we had. Things weren't all peachy, but that was alright just as long as we had one another.
The first four years seemed to fly by.I lost focus for a moment, hit a pretty rough patch, and ended up prolonging my college career for another year. I was fine with that honestly. Deep down inside, I knew I wasn't ready to say goodbye to what had become my life. And then, graduation day came. I graduated and the time came for me to return to a place that no longer felt like home. Not only did I feel scared about what the real world had to offer career wise, I also didn't look forward to moving in with one of my parents. I hadn't lived under the same roof with either of my parents since I was 16, and it had been much longer for my dad.
That part, was one of the hardest things for me. I was used to coming and going as I pleased without anyone wondering where I was or asking questions about my comings or goings. Thankfully, my dad wasn't overprotective, yet in still it was a struggle for me. College life was like a fantasy world. It was very necessary, but it honestly painted a somewhat unrealistic picture of what adult life would be like.
For starters, the cost of living was a lot less in our college town. Another thing, we could walk most places, or take a quick bus ride to get almost anything we needed. Saying goodbye to college life meant that I was walking away from comfort, temporarily walking away from independence, and walking into the cold cold real world. At 22, saying goodbye to college life was far from easy.