As much as I looked forward to graduation back when I was a senior in high school, there was one thing I dreaded so much that sometimes I wished I could go back in time and cling to my days as an awkward pubescent freshman. And that thing was losing my friends. While I had a wide variety, there were a certain few to whom I was especially close – friends at whose houses I’d slept over, friends with whom I’d exchanged deep secrets, friends who knew my ticks and my flaws and my fears, but still thought it was cool to hang out with me. I did not know how much I cherished these friends until I was separated from them.
We all decided to go to universities out of state, and half of us moved away entirely. So, we would be unable to see each other during the school year, but we would also not see each other during breaks, winter or summer. And as wonderful as technology is, there’s nothing like having the people you care about being next to you: alive, breathing, close.
However, even if we had all somehow ended up going to the same school, it would be inevitable for some of us, if not all of us, to begin to drift apart because that’s just the nature of things at this age. Things, people, relationships are consistently changing and dynamic, and this is both a wonderful thing as well as a very sad and scary thing.
For this reason, I had a very hard time transitioning my perspective and attitude during the summer before I came to Georgetown. It took me awhile, even after I had arrived, to let go of being a high school student and to finally accept the fact that I was now in college, which is something I still find difficult to believe at times.
I was excited to get away from my hometown and to be on my own, meeting new people in a new place for me to explore from end to end. Still, I wanted to take certain people with me. I wanted to have those dear friends next to me simultaneously experiencing this incredible milestone in my life. I wanted us to continue growing together, just like we had for the past four years.
But I’ll be honest. This was not the only reason I didn’t want to leave my friends. They were also a sort of safety net for me. For the first time in years, I had to wonder who I would eat lunch with every day. Who would I hang out with on the weekends? Who would I talk to when I was having a bad day?
At first, we all texted and messaged each other in our group chat quite often. However, eventually those conversations became less frequent. Everyone became busy with their new lives, and there was less room for bits of the old one. I became fearful of being replaced, and what was even scarier was that I didn’t think I could find anyone who would replace them. I felt like I was the only one lingering behind – the only one who hadn’t been brave enough to shut the door on our past and move on. Because of this, I felt even lonelier.
In many previous pieces in this column, I’ve expressed similar sentiments. Perhaps, this is evidence that I haven’t fully let go. I think I’m still sort of obsessed with the idea of my past, maybe because my life was so regular and normal and comfortable for such a long time that making this transition, which I do not regret at all, really did shake my world. Though, that’s no one’s fault but my own. My personality is one that both loves and hates change.
As cliché as it sounds, I really am finding myself. I hate to say it. It makes me cringe saying it, but it’s the truth. I am that girl, the one looking up at the clouds for answers. Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want my life to be?
I know these are big questions. Questions to which I do not necessarily need to immediately have answers, as I am only eighteen years old.
But it doesn’t help that once you’re a college student, one of the first things people ask you is what your major is. In other words, what’s your life plan? What is your life goal? Though I think I might have an idea, I’m not completely sure. Just a little under a year ago, the only thing I was worrying about was having enough extracurricular activities on my resume and a high enough GPA to get me into a reputable school. All I had to do was follow the path my teachers, counselors and mentors had so clearly laid out for me. I didn’t even have to think or feel. I just did.
But now it’s not like that anymore. I’m pretty much entirely responsible for my destiny from now on. While I like that control, it would be sort of nice to have a scapegoat in case things don’t work how I want them to. This is a very cowardly thing to say, but again it’s the truth.
But I know at some point, perhaps in the distant future or perhaps sooner than I think, I’ll discover what it is I truly desire – what my true passion is. And at that moment, I’ll bravely declare it to the world. And then— I’ll go on from there.
Jasmine White is a freshman in the College. BAMA ROGUE appears every other Friday.