It’s not that I’m nervous about what’s to come, or that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, I do, it’s just that I also know exactly what I’m losing.
I’m really, really excited for college. Having visited Charlottesville many times already, I’ve already scoped out Corner Joe for my coffee and studying, sat in the booths in Clemons library where I’ll hopefully continue my writing, and eaten the fresh fruit at the dining halls that everyone seems to hate (an apple is an apple my dudes, try one).
But those are, for the most part, continuations. The old but better. That’s what I like, but what is also to come is complete change and discarding of the old, and I don’t really have a say in the matter. I don’t like that.
I’m in my room right now, but after August 24th my parents have condemned the area I’ve slept in since I was 4 to renovations. We will be replacing your furniture with grown up stuff, they said. Soon, much that was familiar will become unfamiliar.
And what of my friends? While I’m ecstatic to be joined by many of my friends this coming year at UVA, and have already forged many new friendships while becoming involved in the community, some of my closest friends won’t be joining me in Charlottesville. Looking back now I’ve just realized that I’ve given Ephraim the last ride we will share back to his house already without knowing it. Something has passed, has ended, and it stings.
While high school was by no means smooth sailing socially, I found great enjoyment in many of those study halls on the couch with my friends, and leaving when things finally feel steady seems so wrong.
There’s some characters that I fear I may never find again, and while I’ll be keeping in touch the best that I can, I know deep down that in the hustle and bustle of life those characters will grow distant. Hell, sometimes things got hard when they lived not even ten miles from me, so distances of 430 miles are incredibly daunting. Surely, some people are lifelong companions. But it’s not entirely up to me who those get to be, no matter how hard I try.
But I’ve come to accept that that’s okay. Someone wiser than me helped me see that in life some people are just there for that part of the ride. There will be new ones in the next part, and while they may not be the same, there’s some excitement in that.
Those important to me have impacted me more than they could ever know, and although I’m far from perfect, I’m still incredibly grateful for how much they’ve helped me grow as a person.
Those new to my life will hopefully help me grow in different ways that I didn’t know possible. I’m excited for that. But before that, there’s some people important to me that I want to say something to. Not goodbye, but thank you, because even if I won’t be seeing them every day I’ll be carrying a piece of them with me throughout my entire life.
Thank you Carl, for making me feel like I deserved to be in this world even when I thought I didn’t, and for always being the yang to my yin.
Thank you Drew, for pushing me to do better than I ever thought I could (this applies to so many things, it could be its own post).
Thank you Ronin, for making me appreciate what the human experience is all about, and for being a light during many dark moments.
Thank you Yousef, for inspiring me to do more.
Thank you Sophie, for helping me understand that sometimes great friends come out of unlikely places (in this case, the right side of the room).
Thank you Ephraim, for showing me absolutely what not to do in a pool.
If any of my past teachers stumble upon this, thank you all for working so hard (and dealing with me). A special thank you to the Letelliers for being excellent people on top of excellent educators.
Thank you to everyone else who have stuck by me along the way – even if you don’t have a place here please believe that you have a place in my heart (or by my side, if you’re going to UVA).
The first few weeks are not going to be easy, but it’s the next chapter of my life with new characters, and it’s time for that to be embraced.