It is so crazy to think that it has almost been a whole week since I walked across the stage at my graduation and officially marked the end of my college career (and also got heat exhaustion).
I finished school in December and was lucky enough to begin working right after so my post-grad mental break down hit me in January and since I was able to get off work early due to my graduation, this week feels no different than a week and a half ago. I didn’t have any finals to stress over (thank god) and was able to relax a little bit but I think the biggest shock to me now is that there is no place where all of my friends and classmates will be within a few miles of one another.
I had weird post-grad-but-not-yet-graduated limbo from mid-December until last week where I was done with school and working but felt like the child of the office who could still talk about college things and was excited to decorate my cap and where I would go back to Orange to see my friends and stop by the classes they were in but wasn’t an active member of that class or had to plan things with them when I had time off work. It was a weird period that left me feeling stuck between those two worlds and instead of the sadness of college ending as I walked across that stage, I almost felt free- that limbo was done and that chapter of my life has officially closed.
It was almost a relief, no more not being able to see people because of their class schedule or projects and no more stressing over what I’ll wear under my gown but also with the joy of knowing I have a plan for my (near) future. What I feel the strangest about is not being able to walk across that campus or the film school and feel like I still belong and not being able to drive through Orange and feel like I know someone living on each block I go past.
Not all of my friends know exactly where they’re off to and some will be taking their work slow as they find their ground (I guess that’s where I’m at too). But knowing that we’re all branching away and wont be close enough to grab a beer flight at Pizza Press whenever we want and then do absolutely nothing in a living room does leave an empty feeling in me.
Maybe it’s because I’m still living at home for at least a couple more months and I’m not close to friends that have moved down to Newport Beach or close to anybody in LA where I can have those random plans still but I already do miss everybody. My friends shaped my college. There were so many ups and downs and new friendships built and maintained while others came and went but I thank everybody for the role they played in my life and the memories I will cherish forever.
Sometimes I wish I could go back and do a few things differently. I had the dream of going into college and being active in more clubs and student government, neither of which I did, but not doing those allowed me the time to connect with others and not be too stressed out. I wish I made a better effort to meet people outside of my dorm hall, classes, or sorority freshman year but the people that I did have the opportunity to meet have made such an impact and become some of my favorite people. I’m currently learning that randomness is not random and everything that has happened to me these past four years are what have brought me to this point in my life today. So while I sometimes wish I did things differently, I love where I am at with friendships and work today and a different past could have led to a different outcome so I am keeping those memories close to my heart but letting everything else stay in the past so I can enjoy today as it shapes my future.
(Some of the amazing people I met through my major and Chapman News, my favorite professor who has given me a million opportunities to reach my dreams, and I infront of the film school post-graduation)