It’s the last article. The last exam. The last paper, walk to Walker, presentation, class. The last everything. It’s all over. The day that I never thought would actually come when I moved here four years ago is here.
Today is graduation day.
I wasn’t going to write about the way this made me feel because I’m feeling so many things I didn’t think I could articulate it into anything coherent. But, I was sitting at my kitchen counter the other night and just started thinking about everything that the last four years had brought me. Mostly what the last year had been.
538 1 was less than magical. If you don’t believe me go back and read how this year started. It has been easily one of the most trying years of my entire life. Sitting at that counter I remember the time someone tried to break in, the fleas, all of the roommate fights, the time me and James had the worst fight of our relationship, the time we drank way too much and the hangover that followed, making it up the stairs after the third infirmary visit of the week. The best one is thinking about the roommate who moved out and who’s mother threatened to catch any of us outside… can’t make it up. It hasn’t been magical really… or anything else.
Then I really think about things. The nights watching tv with friends on the couch, sitting in Hannah’s bed doing nothing but staring at Twitter. I think about the fun that came before the hangover, the emotional talks. That just lead me to think of everything else about senior year that I can’t believe is ending. It’s funny how things work out. One minute you’re screaming Bodack Yellow and the next you aren’t speaking. That’s life though. I’m grateful even if it wasn’t magical.
I keep having these weird retrospective moments where I feel every feeling all at once. Packing up my room I sat in my chair and thought about the way it seems like I moved in last week but at the same time like I’ve lived here my whole life. It stated to set in that college was over. Every time my brain tried to force me to process it I would immediately push it out. I know I’m only setting myself up to be in a glass case of emotions but I can’t break down over it right now. Literally the thought of the coffee shop in the library is enough to send me into a sniffling fit.
App has given me so many things. It gave me friends that I couldn’t ever replace even if I tried and memories that could fill up endless amounts of books. Thinking about not living here anymore isn’t something I’ve really been able to process. How is it possible to not live somewhere that feels just as much like home as anywhere else.
I’m getting a little rambly so maybe I should just bring it back to today.
Today is the culmination of every memory, test, and presentation. Good, bad and ugly. It’s the end of the thing that I have pushed myself towards for the last four years (really eight) and I don’t mean gently. I had the opportunity to lead organizations and write about things like the Las Vegas Massacre and what being engaged is like. I was able to share my feelings on countless events and experiences and I am forever grateful that I was able to do so. I did my best to take advantage of any opportunity that came my way. I was able to have a voice which is something not everyone is lucky enough to have.
My advice to anyone reading this is that you have to jump at the opportunities this place gives you. Go on hiking adventures with your best friends as often as you can. Join that club that you think sounds interesting. Talk to that person that sits beside you in class you could be talking to your future maid-of-honor or mortal enemy…but you won’t know until you find out. Make a bucket list and do it. For the sake of the lord don’t just focus on your GPA it’s important but it isn’t the only thing that’s important. I spent a lot of my time stressing myself sick over mine and still didn’t get a 4.0. In the words of my fiancé “It really do be like that sometimes.”
My grad cap says “Find your team and get to work” which if you’re as obsessed with Parks and Rec as I am you’ll recognize from Leslie’s good bye speech. It only seemed appropriate for it to be a part of mine too.
“And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people you love. Find your team, and get to work”
Your team is what makes everything in your life worth doing. It’s what made college worth doing for me. Take every experience that you can as deeply and personally as you can. Spend time with your friends because one day they may live across the country and not across the hall. Support them in every choice they make even if it’s doing a Local Thursday and not studying. Your time here is too short to fight over that. My parents got me through more meltdowns than I’d ever like to admit but I know they’ll be cheering the loudest today and James was the best cheerleader and support system I ever could’ve been given.
Take in every second of Appalachian State. It grows on you. You’ll get tired of the weather 100%, but when ever the sun decides to come back out you’ll feel bad for ever saying anything mean about Boone. You’ll never forget it. You’ll never forget the people who made it special. Tomorrow I won’t be a student anymore but I’ll be a Mountaineer for the rest of my life and that is something that I’ll be proud of until the day I die. I said a few weeks ago that I didn’t want to start crying because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to stop. Now the time for tears has come and I was right. I am devastated and ecstatic at the same time and I am so grateful for the place that made me feel this way. I have that save the world in me still and it’s stronger than ever. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
“Don’t stop at the hill if you can go to the Mountain.”