So true…

A year has passed and now we stand on the brink of returning to a world where we are surrounded by the paradox of everything, and yet nothing being the same.
In a month we will reluctantly give our hugs and, fighting the tears, say good-bye to people who were once just names on a sheet of paper to return to people that we hugged and fought tears to say good-bye to before we ever left.
We will leave our best friends to return to our best friends. We will go back to the places we came from and go back to the same things we did last summer and every summer before that.
We will come into town on that same familiar road, and even though it has been months, it will seem like only yesterday.
As you walk into your old bedroom, every emotion will pass through you as you reflect on the way your life has changed and the person you have become.
You suddenly realize that the things that were most important to you a year ago don’t seem to matter so much anymore, and the things you hold highest now, no one at home will completely understand.
The memories and the stories from school won’t mean anything to anyone at home and yet you resent them for that, that they can’t share that happiness with you.
Who will you call first? What will you do your first weekend home with your friends? How long before you actually start missing people barging in without calling or knocking? Who will get pizza at three in the morning with you now? How long until you adjust to sleeping alone in a room again?
Then you start to realize how much things have changed, and you realize the hardest part of university is balancing the two completely different worlds you now live in, trying desperately to hold on to everything all the while trying to figure out what you have to leave behind.
In the matter of one day’s traveling time, we will leave our world of living next door to our best friends, walking across campus to eat, instant messenger, 8am classes, and the perpetual procrastination to a world that will seem foreign to us despite the fact that we lived in it for eighteen years.
But it is different now. We now know the meaning of true friendship.
We know who we have kept in touch with over the past year and who we hold dearest in our hearts.
We’ve left our high school world to deal with the real world.
We’ve had our hearts broken, we’ve fallen in love, we’ve helped our best friends overcome depression, stress and death, and we’ve stayed up all night on the phone just to talk to a friend in need. There have been times when we’ve felt so helpless being hours away from home when we know our families needed us, and there are times we know we have made a difference.
A month from now we will leave.
A month from now we take down our pictures, and pack up our clothes.
No more going next door to do nothing for hours on end.
We will leave our friends whose random email and phone calls will bring us to laughter and tears this summer.
We will take our memories and dreams and put them away for now, saving them for our return to this world. A month from now we will arrive. We will unpack our bags and have dinner with our families.
We will drive over to our best friend’s house and do nothing for hours on end.
We will return to the same friends whose random emails and phone calls have brought us to laughter and tears over the year.
We will unpack old dreams and memories that have been put away for the past year.
In a month we will dig deep inside to find the strength and conviction to adjust to change and still keep each other close. And somehow, in some way, we will find our place between these two completely different worlds…. Are you ready?
“Remember, you must love yourself before you can let others love you.”

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