I've been in college for about a month and a half. So I'm pretty much a veteran. I'm not a very emotional person so I was a little bit scared for this big change in my life. I didn't want to have any mental breakdown or anything.
In high school, I had this fabulous group of friends. We call ourselves the Fab Five. We were probably the closest group of friends there every was, but we knew that changes were coming, since college was in a few months and we were all going in different directions. I was also a little apprehensive about the whole living away from home thing. I mean let's face it, if I hate one week summer camps, how am I going to handle one year!? So, summer came and what I thought would be two months filled with Fab Five sleepovers and a summer with friends all the time, turned into a work-filled, boring family vacation, counting down the days 'till Move-In summer. Everyone was just gone the whole time, we could never get the whole gang together. Until the last weekend that we were all home. We finally all got together, to hug each other one last time. To laugh together one last time. To stuff our faces and watch Vines together one last time, until we moved away. It was bitter-sweet.
|Fab Five, plus our good friend and director; Jacki|
in a while, maybe even until one of our bridal party's night. But even by then, everything would be totally different." It was sad, but it was also the beginning of o a new chapter in our lives. And it wasn't goodbye forever, just a "See you later" moment. We still all call each other and talk like we saw each other yesterday. "That's when you know that you are best friends," my friend, Hannah, said as we ended our hour long conversation. And she was right.
I recently went home for the first time and it was a happy, yet strange reunion. Driving up to my house seemed weird. The living room and the kitchen were fine, but my room wasn't my room. It was emptied compared to my even smaller dorm. Going to church and seeing all of my old friends, not including the Fab Five, was happy, but not as "magical" as I thought it would be. It was a pretty plain and boring weekend. I went to the homecoming game, which was fun. I got to talk to some of my old teachers, which was nice. I saw a bunch of my underclassmen friends, which was great! So that was Friday. Saturday morning, I got up fairly early to go have breakfast with Savannah, one of my favorite Junior girls! It was so nice to talk and catch up, but it made me realize that I want more relationships like that in college. We parted ways a couple of hours later, hugging and telling each other how much we loved and missed each other. Then I got home and got responsible and did some homework, not all of it, but all that was due on Monday at least. My dad got us Cranky Franks, which is a little barbecue joint in my hometown that is absolutely delicious. We watched some college football together and I went to Walmart to get somethings I had forgotten. Later in the evening, my brother went hunting, leaving my dad and I to watch some Lifetime movie called Girl Fight, which is a story for another day. Then we ate at my favorite burrito place for dinner. Sunday rolled around and we got up and went to church, where I surprised most of the members there. We went home, took naps, and I began to pack up. Like I said, a pretty boring weekend.
But as I was packing, a lump welled up in my throat. "Why am I sad? Why do I feel like crying?" It was the strangest thing. I hadn't done anything so amazing and great that I wanted to stay home forever. So why was I upset about leaving? I think it had to do with just spending time with my dad. My mom was out of town for that week, so it was kind of one of the few times we had ever spent an entire weekend together, since Cameron (my brother) was gone most of the time. I think what got me was what my dad was saying on Sunday. "What time is your class on Monday?"
"It's at 9"
"Well, I guess if you left tomorrow morning around 5, you could get there in time." He joked. "Or you could leave here late tonight... Nah, there's deer and you probably want to get back."
I could see he was struggling. I didn't want to leave either, but I knew I had to.
|My Dad and I|
Man, he was really having a hard time seeing me leave. I love my dad so much and this was killing me. I was going to leave around 4. But it was 2 o'clock, and I couldn't take sitting there for two more hours, talking about not leaving and wanting to stay longer. I packed up all of my stuff and said, "I think I'm gonna head out now. Thanks for everything this weekend and I'll see you in a month or so." We hugged and said our goodbyes. I waved and got in the car. I sat there for a minute, watched the front door close, and then let out a sob. A few tears rolled down and I put on my glasses and drove off.
Why was I sad? Because my dad was sad. But I knew I couldn't always be there for him, and neither can my parents always be there for me. We all have to put our sunglasses on and drive away. I told myself to suck it up and go back home, to Abilene Christian University. Because that's where my new life is. I cannot let myself become so homesick that I'm sucked back into small town Fredericksburg where my only career path would be living at home and flipping burgers. I have to grow up and say goodbye.
Saying goodbye is hard. And I believe that it will always be hard. But I should not let that stop me from living my adventure. That's what our parents raise us to do, even if they themselves don't realize it. We are supposed to grow up and move away from our childhood to become the person that we were meant to be.
Goodbyes lead us to our new adventures in our lives. But we have a choice. Do we unpack and stay at home, or do we put on our sunglasses and drive forward?