Yesterday, I had my last official class at Buffalo State College, and I must admit, leading up to that final class, I couldn't wait to be done! In fact, I just wanted the semester to end as quickly as possible. When I got to school, it had that weird finals week vibe where there is hardly anyone on campus, and those who are seem too preoccupied with finals to even act like human beings. Those of us who have had to endure finals week understand the kind of feral beast, which starts to emerge when papers pile up and final exams erupt left and right. But this semester, I didn't feel any of that. I was just excited to be done.
I was thrilled when the clock hit 3:30 so I could leave Rockwell Hall, and leave behind my undergrad. Even packing up my bag for the final time felt like no big deal. It was't until I was out in the hall standing with my new fall friends, talking about next semester that I realized what was happening. Someone said, see you later, and I said, I'm graduating. And this sentence felt so weird in my mouth, and then everyone was hugging me, and congratulating me, and I realized I might never see these people again. Now of course we can talk on Facebook, but that doesn't mean we will, and I knew there was something so different about this last day and my last day of high school, but I couldn't figure it out. In fact, it took me until now to discover that difference.
You see, in high school, I'd known people most my life. They saw me go through my awkward phase, and they know every embarrassing thing that'd ever happened. But in college, my peers were people who loved the same things, who accepted the fact that I loved Harry Potter and books and words. To them, I was just a writer, not that weird person who writes. And I knew I would be leaving that behind. I would be leaving those people, but also leaving behind a piece of myself. I changed so much in college, and I knew I would be leaving the pieces of that changed person behind. I knew it as soon as I read the quote below:
"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, like you'll not only mis the people you love, but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you'll never be this way again."-Azar nafisi
My freshman year of college, I was insecure, afraid to make friends, and unsure of the future. For too long, I'd hid behind books and good grades.
But now, I'm confident in my writing, knowing my words make me unique. My stories are worth telling. I'm not afraid of meeting people and making friends, because I've learned how great people can really be. Of course, I will always have the best friend from high school. He will always have my past and my future, but my college friends have a part of me that I will always cherish.
I'm still unsure of the future, but not in the same way. I'm not scared of it anymore. I just know it will take me where it wants, and I'm okay with that. I still love books, and I still get good grades, but I don't use them to hide.
Next month, I will be starting graduate school, and while I'm somewhat nervous, I know I'm ready. I can't wait to sit down and actually read, to write without the constant homework and papers and tests hanging over my head.
I'm ready to be a writer.
Because that's what I've always been, even when I didn't know it. In college, I was able to find my voice as a writer. I wrote a book and have almost finished the second one and I've written papers and poems and a plethora of short stories. In college, I was able to really call myself a writer, to accept that my words were important; they will always be important.
So now that I'm officially done, I realize how much I've changed, and I couldn't be happier nor, more excited for the future. But I know I will never be this person again. Things will change a second from now and a day from now, a month and a year from now, and I just hope I remember this person I am, because I think she's pretty great! I hope I remember how this little story started and how it's grown while I work toward getting published because I really want to share it with you, invisible reader. And I hope someday I can meet you and talk to you about books and the future and words and even what it's like to graduate.