Going through the past month I have had an innumerable amount of last times. And the thing that has stuck with me after all of them was the dull feeling that I wasn’t living them correctly. How do you end the final meeting you’ll ever attend for the very first club you joined freshman year? I can tell you it’s probably not by saying, “So, um, yeah, thanks,” and then just going about your day the same way you have after every other meeting for the last three and a half years. What do you say as you leave the house of someone you’ll likely never see again? I would venture it probably shouldn’t be, “I’ll never see you again,” as you envelop them in a weak side hug.
I want to cry. I want to show everyone how much them and this crazy experience has meant to me. But I just can’t. The list of things I’ve cried about in the last week includes a dumb boy and One Direction*. Reviewing that short list, I’m upset at myself for not being able to feel the right things during the moments that actually mattered. Yes, sure, One Direction’s 2010 performance of Natalie Imbruglia’s pop classic “Torn” is high key emotional (it was their first performance together as a group and if you haven’t seen it please watch it here), but all of my closest friends spending their Friday night celebrating my graduation with me is high key way more emotional. I want to cry. But I just can’t.
Everyone keeps saying, “It will hit you soon,” and “You just haven’t processed it yet,” but it feels like the events that should have clued me into the fact that my graduation is fast-approaching have come and gone before I even realized I was living them. The moments I’m meant to be processing haven’t even registered. I can’t reflect on memories I haven’t even bothered to retain.
Luckily, in cases like this, my heart always seems to be more in tune with reality than my brain. She seems to understand that maybe this isn’t even a time for tears after all because all the best things about college are what I’ll be taking with me, not what I’ll be leaving behind. Even though most of my friends will physically be back in Muncie without me as the new year rolls around, the connections I’ve made on this campus will be held in my heart long after I leave it. To everyone who has been a part of my journey, big or small, please know that you have all changed me for the better. And please know that I will forget to text you, but I will never forget the person you helped shaped me into.
Maybe the ‘lasts’ don’t even matter when everything ahead of me in the coming days, weeks, and even years will be amazing ‘firsts’. I’m about to step into the world with a degree I worked my ass off for in a field I absolutely love. I’m about to take my first big girl trip to Austin, TX to visit a high school friend at her first big girl job. I’m about to get the biggest hugs my parents have ever given me. I’m about to wear a mortarboard decorated like a Crunchwrap Supreme that says, “Let’s Crunch-Wrap this up!” I’m about to see my dog (this doesn’t count as a first, but it’s still pretty dope). My heart must know I only have reasons to smile. I just wish my head would catch up.
As I’m writing this, my Honors thesis is still not done, so I guess I should probably go do that. Bye forever. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
*Update: I cried to an Avril Lavigne song while writing this.