Surprise. College was the trial run. Take Two. Start Over. Back to square one.
College was the first time that I was able to construct a life for myself. I learned how to navigate a new environment, built a network of friends, mentors, supporters, and colleagues who became my family. I lived in a world of my own making for the first time ever. I was responsible for getting out of bed (or not). Feeding myself (or not). My days, while guided by those around me, were shaped by my own decisions. But right when I started to get comfortable in this little life of my own making, real life reared its big, ugly, speckled, scaly head.
The life that I constructed with my friends hurtled toward total annihilation (too dramatic?) when in mid May we were all flung to different corners of the world (or the USA) on unique paths.
**This is where it gets cliched.**
**I know these aren’t ground breaking observations but stick with me.**
Never again will we all be living within the same square mile (let alone the same building). Never again will we have a shared community. Never again will we all find the same yaks funny.
Instead, we are each moving in our own directions. Moving to new places and starting new lives with new people. Again.
In some ways the second time around is easier. We’ve already awkwardly gotten lost, asked stupid questions, made friends, and polite frienemies once. Some of the things that were scary the first time around aren’t so bad now. We’ve learned that we can (in fact) feed our selves, and that we can (usually) get out of bed. We’ve learned that we will make mistakes, but we’ve also learned how to deal with consequences.
What hasn’t gotten easier has maybe even gotten harder. When I left high school, I missed my best friends and my family. They were my people. The ones I laughed with, cried with, and told (almost) everything to. Despite making lots of friends early in my freshman year, it took months to start to find new people. In fact, I didn’t settle into friendships with some of my people until late in my college career. But these people, my people, they were not only my friends, they we’re my advisors, roommates, comedians, partners in crime for late night milkshake runs. They are my family.
Moving to a new city is exciting. I get to explore, figure out public transportation, find new favorite bars, and meet dozens and dozens of new people. But its also lonely. I don’t have my people. I know that I will eventually find new people. But for now I miss late nights with one (or 3) too many glasses of wine. I miss pretending to do homework. I miss spontaneous edamame trips. I miss post-bar feminist rants (that we were too hungover to do anything about the next day). I miss glomping. I miss gossiping and ranting and laughing and crying and watching bad tv and sometimes just doing nothing at all.
So. To my people. I miss you. Know that you will always be my people. But I can’t wait until I find someone else who fully embraces and loves all my quirks. And is willing to be seen with me in public in a hot pink princess dress.
And to my future people: I can’t wait to find you so we can be weirdos together.