I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save draft” before this was done so if you got an email, disregard the first one and read this because it’s the finished product!
I leave for school tomorrow. Everyone has been asking things like “are you excited?”, “do you have everything ready for your dorm?”, or my personal favorite, “do you think you’ll get homesick?”. I know people are just being polite in asking these questions, but the truth is, I’m absolutely terrified. I’ve been preparing for this day for such a long time. I watched my grades in high school so I could get into college. I took the ACT. I filled out applications and wrote essays about myself. These last four years have been just preparing for this day and the only thing I feel is fear.
Going to college is going to be a tough transition. For the last 18 years, I have lived in a house with a close and loving family. Moving away from that is going to be so hard. When I have something I need to vent about, my mom will not be 100 feet away. When I run out of shampoo, it will not be replenished for me. I am probably not going to have a home cooked meal in the next 3 months. Nobody tells you about this when you apply for college, especially if you don’t plan to live at home (or 4 hours away!). Nobody explains how tough of a transition it will be, both mentally and physically.
However, in a class I took in high school, we were taught that your life begins outside of your comfort zone. I am so used to living in this bubble called my comfort zone. I like my friends from home, my hometown, my mom’s cooking, my high school. But in less than 24 hours, I will be shoved out of that bubble and forced to hang out in the area around it. This lesson taught that the only way you truly learn is when you’re in that area outside of it. We learn from new experiences. We learn by exploring different cultures and people than the ones we are used to. It’s hard and uncomfortable to leave my comfort zone, but if I stay in this bubble that I am so comfortable in, I won’t learn anything. I won’t ever grow up.
Taking the step to get out of that bubble is really, really hard. I’m learning that right now, as I lay in bed thinking of all the things I’m going to miss and all the things yet to come that I have NO IDEA about. So no, I’m not excited for college. I’m absolutely terrified. I’ve cried at completely random places and times this past week. I probably don’t have everything ready for my dorm and of course I am going to get homesick. But this is a step that I need to take in order to learn. So here’s to growing up and all the learning that’s to be done in the next four years!
Also, to add some humor to this otherwise emotional post, here are some times I completely lost my shit and bawled this week:
- When I left my prom dresses & graduation gown hanging in my otherwise empty closet.
- When I went on my last run on the nature path by my house.
- When I absolutely zoned out and accidentally drove to my high school out of habit instead of where I was supposed to go.
- When I picked up my brother from my high school (he will be a freshman) and saw football practice out on the field.
- When I realized how many country songs on the radio are about hometowns and high schools.
- When I was packing and listening to my iTunes library on shuffle and a song from 7th grade came on.
So if you’ve found yourself crying at any of these things (or stranger things!) you’re not alone. However, our lives begin at the end of our comfort zones. I am finally taking the step outside of my bubble I have known for the last 18 years.