Hello, Goodbye, Amen

Being a teenager is all about anticipation. Sometimes it seems like every moment has lead up to one big one, and this is it. It all ends here, like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. When it happens, it's unbelievable. This entire year has officially come to an end. It's all over. There's no more freshman year. Everyone has gone home and moved on. We're really finished with all of it. It's like we just hello, goodbye, and amen.

Let's be real. I'm not going to lie. College changes you. For better or for worse (what are we ... getting married?), well that's up to you. I've definitely seen some people grow, mature, and come into their own under this whole new college scene like a young Casey Cartwright or Evan Chambers from Greek, whereas others embraced the Dorm Life College Marshall Adams douche-baggery lifestyle. It may sound totally cliché but college exactly what you make of it. Personally, I feel like I'm nothing like the person I used to be. I mean I've stuck to my morals, kept my promises to myself, and came out unscathed from this year but I'm not the same person I went into that arena (Legenda of Korra anyone?) as. That leads me to ask the question, well if I'm a different person, who am I? I can tell you pretty much what has changed. College was an eye-opening experience for sure. You can go in there thinking you're not sheltered, that you're worldly, and so cultured but when it comes time to actually talk to other people you realize you may not know as much as you thought. Having to explain things that are normal for you like the kind of car you drive, how much you spend at the grocery store, why you don't drink, and who God is takes on a completely different role. In college I've become exactly the person I guess I truly always was. The catalyst, the person who changes everything, and leaves an unforgettable mark. I've become more outspoken, less afraid to speak my mind even when I'm always the opposing opinion, and to know how to see through other people's crap. Socially I found a stable group of friends but spread a pretty substantial social empire that I'm of course the prince of. I've reigned in the narcissism, and dropped a lot of the naivety. I'm more me than I ever was. That's what college is all about, finding who you are, especially when you're away from family and friends. It's like we've only just said hello, then goodbye, and finally amen.



Things have a certain way of happening so fast. Friday morning I rolled in my bed for the last time to smile and say good-morning to my roommate, Krabby Patty. The Wanted's harmonizing prowess gets me hype and ready for a crazy day. I get dressed out of my already packed suitcase and say goodbye before grabbing my backpack and heading downstairs to my honors college class exam. It's Bruegger's bagels for everyone and I'm a complete mess trying to slice my baked goods (8am is way too early for me to handling a knife). Everyone sits down with their breakfast and our exam is passed out. We're tasked with answering 8 out 10 questions about the readings we've done in this second half of the semester and write an essay on the role of literature in 3 of the works we read. The amount of writing that went down might have been legendary, like writing the Help epic. After a few hours I was done and crawled back to the confines of my room to just hang out. Sam, Emily and I went to the unlimited dining hall in Harris-Millis for a quick breakfast before Emily had to run out to her English exam. It was my final day of being on campus for the school year and everyone and their parents were packing up to head home. It's times like these where I miss my mother and father, but I know I'll be seeing them soon enough. I spend the rest of the morning finishing packing and it's t-minus 6 hours until I'm supposed to be at the airport. I strip the sheets off my bed and Sam and I carry a box over to H&M for shipping while Emily brings up the rear. Let's just say we were huffing and puffing like we were about to blow the whole joint down. It's back to my room where I sat in modellishly good brooding poses as I read emails and texts from advisors and friends wishing me a safe and awesome summer. I'm not going to lie, did I tear up - uhm yes. It's all ending and it seems like everything and everyone has finally just come together. Dzenan helps Krabs and I out in moving our stuff to Pat-Pat's car. Miniature fridges, boxers, and comforters all make their way out and get stuffed into the trunk. Patrick and I hug it out with Jay-Dubs (JW, Jake W.) and drive over to his house. The entire car ride I'm passing in and out of sleep like the classic mess that I always am. We empty the trunk, say hello to his doggie, Boomer, and head back to campus. It's officially picture time and we all get instagrammed before carrying out the last of our stuff to the car. We take one last look around the room, lock the door and sign out. It's down to the front desk to turn in our keys and that's it. This year is legitimately over. I'm a whole lot of overwhelmed with emotion and it's just like saying hello, goodbye, and amen.

With that, it was for real time to say the final goodbyes. It was hugs all around for my friends, Samantha, Dzenan, and Emily. I'd finally found my niche of friends in college and routinely begun hanging out, and it was already time to depart. Life is cruel that way. I was definitely an emotional mess and the tears just blinded me as Patrick and I went to say goodbye to his friends before heading outside. The sun shined on us and cars were pulling out all over. Honking horns, cheering, and rolled down windows. This was it. We get in the car and so soon we were at the airport (probably because it's only 5 minutes away from campus). I got my luggage out of the trunk and hugged Patrick like there was no tomorrow. Up to the ticketing counter and I scanned my boarding pass and checked in both my suitcases. I wiped the tears away and was off to security. It was "peak" travel time (which is relative, seeing as no one comes to Burlington, VT) and I actually had to wait in line, for once. I got my ID checked and proceeded to take off my shoes, belt, and get out my laptop. I emptied my pockets of my cell phone, wallet, and cherry chapstick before spreading my feet and raising my arms to be scanned. At least I wasn't patted down. I got redressed and entered the waiting area for the gates. It was hitting me, I was actually going home for the summer. I see an open see next well-dressed guy who I once gave a dime at the Marché. Soon his flight is called and another woman on her iPad 2 sits down next to me. I'm just mobile browsing facebook when in walks the girl of my college dreams. I've seen her all around campus and had the biggest crush on her all year long and there she was looking good as ever. Like damn girl, why you so sessy. The frosting on this cake, she was sporting glasses. To say my heart was a flutter would be an understatement. We locked eyes and smiled at each other before she went to take a seat with her dufflebag. Let it be known, she will be mine next semester - I'm calling dibs (like that's still a thing and like women are possessions or something). I sit there, just beaming until my zone for my flight is called. I take one last longing look at her and of the scenery from the terminal before making my way to my seat on the plane. I fly to Philadelphia while listening to One Direction and accidentally falling asleep (you know my rule against sleeping in public). An hour and a half later I'm in Philadelphia and walking to my next gate to transfer. I stop and buy a pretzel and ginger ale. I pop a squat and update everyone on my whereabouts. I tweet like there's no tomorrow about the drowsy guy nodding off, the ashy lady lotioning her crusty crust toe bunions, and the ditzy diva taking selfies in front of me. Just under two hours later I'm boarding my next flight to Dayton, OH. I sit next to this computer programmer guy who carries a conversation with me pretty well where I'm explaining my life goals and collegiate life.We fly through the night and land 20 minutes early. I get my luggage and head outside where my daddy and sister meet me. It's hugs all around and we're on the road again. We make a late night stop at McDonald's and soon we're pulling into my neighborhood and driveway. I'm up to my room in a flash and catching up with my sister. I'm officially home for summer vacation. It's like hello, goodbye, and amen. Freshman year has totally ended.


Being a teenager is all about looking back at things in retrospect. It's only sometimes that when you step away and actually analyze what has gone on that you can see the truth. So much has happened and I can wholeheartedly let you know that I'm nothing like the person I used to be. When I look at myself in the mirror, I realize it's a different version of myself looking back at me. I've been through so much and emerged more in touch with myself. Hello, goodbye, and amen.


My blog post question for the day is ... what's your best memory from this past school year? I would say the Alianza Latino food festival and getting my dance on hardcore all night long. It was so memorable and something I'll never forget. It's where I became friends with Nicholas and broadened my social circle.

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