Orientation for college was near, but as I found myself driving by my old high school, I felt a weird pang in my heart. A feeling that I couldn’t shake as I realized how many memories were in those buildings, in that space that spanned not more than 2 or 3 blocks.
Always making that annoying left turn into the parking lot, praying I would find a spot (but always did because I came to school obnoxiously early)… little things like the crisp breeze and the blinding sunlight while walking from one end of the quad to the other every morning.
Familiar faces. Whether they were my teachers, or the ones I never had, my position in Leadership allowed me to form bonds with countless members in the staff. I could always count on at least 1 or 2 people sitting at the “red tables” (a creative nickname we began using to describe the corner of the quad we sat in since freshman year) in the morning. I wasn’t alone.
It’s such a weird idea that I’ll never go back there to take classes and be a kid, be an active part of the student body in that campus. In 4 short years, my high school became the sole source of normalcy in my life. I went to school to feel like my life was actually still going on and to confirm that I wasn’t living in some strange dystopian novel centered around myself.
I think the major thing I’m struggling with going into college is the idea of being alone. Over the summer, I took one of those online quizzes and confirmed that indeed I am an introvert, but being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean I like being alone. Sure, socializing is a bit of a hassle if I have to do it every second of every day, but I’m human. Like every other human, I crave human interaction and the idea of potentially feeling lonely more often than not in college is terrifying. And heartbreaking.
Going from a place where I had no shortage of people to talk to to a place so big I’ll never know my entire class…. that’ll be a challenging transition. I don’t know how ready I am for it yet. All the excitement surrounding new experiences at college is real, it’s true – but no one ever tells you that those experiences won’t feel as good because you won’t be with the friends you’ve had for so long, that mean so much to you. New experiences are great, and I know I’ll enjoy them. I’m excited for new challenges and people and interactions. I’m excited to make connections. But, for a while, I guess it just won’t feel the same.
These people won’t know me as well as my friends do now, and I know it’s something everyone struggles with, making new friends, but I guess I’m just a bit more attached. Change isn’t my cup of tea, and I’m pretty sure that comes back to the fact that so much change has happened to me in my short life.
College will push me to take advantage of change instead of resenting it, and I guess that’s all I can ask for.
Title of post: quote from “Mad World” by British band Tears for Fears. There is a notable cover of this song by Michael Andrews ft. Gary Jules for the movie Donnie Darko.