The End of the Beginning

I’m sat in the library currently, staring out the window which overlooks the main quad of campus. I see the spot where my orientation group met religiously during the first week of school, the building where I lived for my first year of college, the pathways that I’ve walked so many times without a second thought, and the place I so desperately wanted to leave not even a week ago. Yet here I am, replaying the events of the year in my head and wishing I could go back to the beginning. There are times I don’t wish to relive, but there are also great memories I don’t want to forget. This has without a doubt been the most interesting year of my life and knowing I won’t ever come back to this place makes me more sad than I thought I’d be.

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During a meeting with my counselor last week she asked, “Will you miss anything here?” I remember laughing and saying a definitive “no,” but to be completely honest I will. I’d spent so much time focusing on all the things I hated about this place that I forgot what great experiences it had given me too. Although the campus is not surrounded by the best area, it is beautiful, and although I don’t get along with many people that go here, there are a few I consider to be amazing friends. Watching people I care about (my roommate, my best friend who lives in a completely different state, and those I know I’ll probably never see again unless I make an effort to come back) move out and leave really affected me.

Sitting in an empty room when two out of the three girls living there have moved out is quite depressing. The floor is bare, the white cinderblock walls resemble those of a prison cell, and the stuff that once made it feel so home-y is now gone, leaving nothing but an echo as my shower shoes scuttle across the tiles. So that’s why I’m in the library. I’d rather sit in an uncomfortable wooden chair than be alone with my nostalgic thoughts in that almost-vacant room.

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I’m not very good with goodbyes. Never have been. Knowing that I’m leaving something makes it worse because I know it’s a series of lasts: last time I’ll stand in the Dunkin’ Donuts line I’ve come to ritually wait in before doing work, last time I’ll eat the incredibly mediocre food my dining hall serves, last time I’ll see someone, and the last time I’ll be part of this community I’ve come to know so well.The next time I come back here will be as a visitor, which is such a strange thing to think about. Not all of it has been an amazing experience, but I’m a very sentimental person.

I think the sadness also stems from my anxiety about transferring. It’s definitely the right decision, considering I want to study a subject not currently offered here and the fact that I was miserable for six of the nine months I spent here, but the thought of starting over while all my friends go back to what they’ve come to know and love at their own schools makes me extremely anxious. I’ve already gone through starting over this year as a freshman, but now I have to do it again only kind-of-knowing a few of the ten thousand people that go to my new school. However, I’m also really excited for all the amazing opportunities next year and can’t wait to start.

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So this is it, the end of the beginning. I move out tomorrow. My first year of college is over. Although I leave this place with a heavy heart and bittersweet emotion, I know that one day I’ll be back to visit and that where I’m going is where I’m meant to be.

– Corinne xx

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