I never knew a year could pass so quickly. While finals have been on my mind for weeks, actually moving out wasn’t—that is, until I looked at the expiration date of a yogurt cup I found in my mini-fridge. May 10? When this yogurt expired on May 10 I would be finished with finals and freshman year. I just wanted to check that I wasn’t setting myself up for food poisoning—I did not want that unexpected rush of sadness before my last 9 a.m. Calculus class.
For someone who started a countdown app on my phone the day I checked my OPUS account to find a “Congrats! You’re in!” message, I spent more time stressing about my dorm room bedding than time spent wondering about the bulk of my year. Perhaps I was partially convinced high school would never end, but I never considered what this concept called college would be like. I had high expectations, but no concrete expectations.
I didn’t know you could fit so many people into one taxi.
I didn’t think it was possible to spend so many hours in the library.
I didn’t expect that not everyone would be your friend.
I didn’t expect to find true best friends.
I didn’t understand how sorority recruitment could be both so dreadful and thrilling.
I didn’t realize how hard it would be to resist a midday nap.
I didn’t think the “Freshman 15” was real.
I didn’t grasp the willpower behind saying no to Domino’s pizza at 3 a.m.
I didn’t imagine it was possible to be so happy.
I didn’t appreciate how easy it was to be sick at home.
I didn’t expect what it would be like when my parents said goodbye to me after move-in day.
I didn’t expect what it would be like to pack up my room to return home.
So my yogurt outlasted my freshman year, but looking back at this whirlwind of two semesters, I feel a mix of pride, nostalgia, and sheer exhaustion. As I stumble over garbage bags of items to be sent home or into storage, my dorm room feels homier than ever. I ended each year of high school thinking I couldn’t be paid to repeat that year. This incredible year, though, I’d repeat in a heartbeat. But, I’m already trying to piece together what sophomore year might hold.