today is the last monday i will ever spend as a freshman at michigan state university. the last monday i will wake up in my small 10×12 dorm in wilson hall. the last monday i will have to a) walk to my car to go drive somewhere for coffee/food or b) walk down to the caf and force feed myself something.
today, and tuesday, wednesday, and thursday will be ‘last days’ for a lot of things. now, this year has overall been really, really horrible. i didn’t have the amazing, crazy, don’t-ever-want-to-leave freshman year of college that a lot of my friends did. in fact, i had quite the opposite. i’ve been counting down the days until the end of the year since the day i got back after christmas break, but now that it’s finally here, i’m putting on the breaks to my fast and furious exit and wondering if maybe i’ll regret not soaking up this time in my life more, laughing a little harder, talking a little bit more, going out a few more nights than i did. i’m usually never one to have regrets, i know that what happens happens, everything works out the way it is supposed to. but i still can’t help but wonder if i’m going to look back on this year when i’m older and wish i hadn’t spent the whole time hating it, and taken a little time to love it.
as i was packing up my clothes and emptying my desk drawers this past weekend, this really bizarre feeling of nostalgia came over me. this year may have been a huge adjustment that was hard and took a lot of work, but i did have fun. i met some amazing people. i formed new friendships that i know i will keep for the rest of my life. i laughed until i cried, i stayed out until the sun came up, and walked across campus so many times that i seriously considered cutting my feet off numerous times.
on top of that, this year has done wonders in strenghtening my relationship with my parents. one that has been rocky and weak for years has turned out to be the one that i have leaned on most for love and support when i didn’t think i’d make it one second longer. it’s true what they say when you’re little, “you’ll understand when you’re older.” because i do. i get it now. i understand the things my parents did then, and i am so thankful. i have AMAZING parents. parents who love me more than i will ever realize and who will do anything for me. through all the tears and frustration, my parents held my hands and got me through it, always staying close when i needed them there and giving me space when i was ready to do it on my own. being away from home and experiencing a time of growth that was harder than i ever could have possibly anticipated brought me to a place where i realize my family is, and will always be, the most important thing i have ever been blessed with.
this year also brought amazing girls into my life. when i got to school, i started in a different room than i ended up in. after a rocky first 2 weeks in my previous room, i was finally able to move to a different room down the hall. my new suitemates were 2 girls, carly and mel. i couldn’t tell you when, or how it happened, but now, i don’t remember a time in my life when i didn’t know them. i feel like they’ve just always been there. i know that carly was someone God sent to keep me sane this year. she has been my biggest rock this year. we have both been able to lean on each other and hold each other up. while i’ve only known her for 9 months or so, carly knows me inside and out better than some that have known me my entire life. she gets me, and i get her, and it isn’t very often in life that you are able to have a friend like that. she reminds me where i’ve been and where i’m going and keeps my head on straight. we both come from different backgrounds and have very different personalities, but together we form this dynamic power duo and i know she’s in my life for the long run. through new boyfriends, marriages, kids, and growing old, i can say without a doubt that we will be friends forever.
i know that i’m leaving this place on thursday, but i don’t think it will hit me for a while what i’m leaving. this place and these faces have been my life, day-in and day-out for the past 10 months. and to be away from it all for 4 months… will be different. sure, it wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows, but as awful as this year was, i wouldn’t change it for the world. i grew as a person, friend, daughter, and student more than i have in the rest of my life combined. i stretched and strengthened myself in incredible ways, and truly realized who i am and what i stand for.
so heres to a year. a year of laugh, car accidents, tears, failed tests, just barely passing that class, terrible professors, great professors, frat boys, sorority girls, cab rides, chasing dogs, date nights, movie nights, take-out, long drives, and a lifelong memory and lessons that will stay with me for the rest.of.my.life.