I recently wrote a letter to my sister for her high school graduation. In it I shared some of my realizations from my undergrad experience with the hope that she’ll learn from my moments in her new home.
I think we all suffer from nostalgia to some degree. We long for the familiarity of the winding pathways of campus, the weirdly shaped green plants, the hodgepodge of buildings that dot campus, the library, and the routine of going to class. Since longing can lead to a fear of the new, anytime I was reminded of my impending graduation over the past two weeks, I was filled with a sense of dread and a crippling feeling of longing…for what I still had.
I think that if we let it, the careful remembrance of all that we love and regard as comfortable will distort our present perceptions. We’ll think of missing familiar faces and comfortable routines so much that we won’t be grateful for those moments while we’re living them.
Although I know the ending of my undergrad career is only the end of a small portion of my life, the past three years have been my home, the place where I finally felt able to be myself and flourish in an environment that let me experiment with my passions. When I walked across the stage last weekend, I forever closed the present and declared the last six semesters as my past.
And that was a terrifying thing. The next step awaits, and I have no idea what it is. All I know is that I have to start over again, but I have a feeling that the next part will be just as amazing as the last.