over these photos of Erin McKenna's Samoa donuts :), because I've been catching up/saying goodbye to friends over meals lately and this can mimic that.
Today marks the 1 week countdown before I leave for....school. college. university. the next four years of my life.
If you had asked me how badly I wanted to leave home a couple months ago, I would've gone on a year long rant. At the time, high school was more than an obligation; it was a chore, it felt pointless, it was unfair. The workload was overwhelming and I had a very difficult time coexisting with certain people for various reasons: they were rude, they bullied others, they were disloyal and reminded me of the pain they caused. I spent every single drive home in the afternoon frustrated and struggling to find my highlight of the day --- something that I could be grateful for and focus on to block out the negativity.
Nobody really tells you this, but people change drastically during their senior year of high school. Some people will abandon academics and invest time & money in concerts, trips, events, parties. Others will sit back and do absolutely nothing --- academically and socially speaking; it's like they're off the grid. And a smaller group will continue to do homework, spend hours working on extracurricular matters, and have relatively no time to go on trips or to parties. All of these are personal choices --- there's no real "right" or "wrong" choice, because the choice that an individual makes is his/her business. The consequences correlate with the choices, and there are both negative and positive results for the individual.
All the while, these choices separate people and have consequences for relationships. Friend groups shift drastically, and I know that I, for one, found myself extremely confused about where everyone had gone, what had happened to everyone. People may change to the point that they no longer are the person they were when you met them --- but that's okay, because everyone changes and grows differently --- it's natural.
So back to my senior year:
I couldn't wait to leave. I was that person who wouldn't give up on academics, and I found myself distancing myself from a lot of people, because most people did not choose to commit to academics. It was hard for me to focus on the blessings at the time: the comfort of knowing my routine, the comfort of knowing exactly what I needed to do and how, the comfort of being at home.
After graduation, I got to leave all of the negativity. I was free from the people I needed to cut out of my life, I was (temporarily) free from the stresses of academics, I finally had time to visit places and eat at restaurants that I've always wanted to go to. I was able to live for myself, and life was easier. Happier, even.
Without the negativity of high school surrounding me, I was (and am) able to focus on the positive aspects more easily --- the people who I met and make me so happy, the rare good memories, life-changing experiences/moments.
So that brings me to today and how I feel about leaving and moving on.
Now that it's easier for me to love where I am, especially with the knowledge that the past four years have allowed me to refine the people in my life and that I now finally know who exactly is part of my support system (life-long friends), it's much harder to leave.
There are a lot of lasts to come, but at the same time, there will be a lot of firsts to look forward to. One of my biggest concerns/reservations when I think about leaving home is that I don't know what's to come.
I don't know how difficult classes will be, I don't know who I'll meet, I don't know how bad my home sickness will be, I don't know what I want to study.
But I always remind myself of the day I first visited my school --- on accepted students day.
The school didn't give us an itinerary or any idea of what to expect, so I went in with no expectations.
I was completely open-minded, and because of that, I had one of the best days I've ever had.
So while I'm nervous and curious about what's to come, I'm also a little bit comforted by the thought that anything can happen, especially the good things. While I wont' be able to drive, I won't be able to watch my brother's soccer games, I won't be able to go to my favorite grocery store every week, I won't be able to cook for myself for a while, there's more to come.
I've been lost between all of these mixed feelings, and there's really no "map" that will help me find a way out.
But I'm learning to be okay with that, and in the mean time, I'm trying to enjoy being home for as long as possible.