I've found myself looking back over the past four years recently...all the way back to my first senior year. I remember that it absolutely flew by and most of it is a blur now. Recently I've had those rare moments of that in between feeling. I've often said to my friends that I can't wait to graduate and be a real person again since everyone knows that college kids aren't real people. After all, who goes to class, comes home to nap, eats noodles, and drinks until all hours of the night? Not real people!
So I'm just now beginning to realize that the so-called "real world" really is around the corner and to be completely honest I'm not ready. Surprise! The last time I was a senior my life was perfect. I was finally leaving Bayonne, a place that I now realize I have both grown to love and hate all at the same time. It was a chance to start over again and no one would know the difference. It was exciting. It was a new sense of freedom that I had never quite experienced before. I had convinced myself that the good times would never change and the bad would be no more (I was quite a naïve 17 year old to say the least).
This time is different. The past few month of my life have been an absolute whirlwind that I’m still not sure if I was ready for. I’ve drifted away from a lot of people who I was convinced would be in my life forever (or at least invited to my parties). Don’t get me wrong…I have so many good friends that I’m sure a lot of people would die for but it’s funny how things work out. It made me realize how much your friends can shape your life. If I sat down to make a list of all the friends I’ve ever had in my life and then thought about how different my life could have been if I had stayed in touch with more or never got close with others I would be thinking for days and who has time for that?
It’s funny how the words “friends” and “family” are always thrown together. If you have real friends (the kind you can laugh, cry, and bitch to SOBER) then they become your family. That’s what you need when, after living with your parents and siblings for the first 18 years of life, you’re thrown into a dorm room 250 miles away from anyone who even knows your last name. This is probably the greatest lesson I am taking with me from college. You learn who to hang on to and who isn’t worth the fight.