I know I want to write a last article, I know I want to have something to commemorate my time in this club that has given me so much, but all I can think is where did the time go? I thought I would have profound thoughts this last week of undergrad and be fueled with inspiration but I cannot figure out how to quite bottle up and present everything I am feeling.
Senior year tested my strength in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I knew it would be a challenging year for me because I struggle with endings. I knew a chapter closing, and closing in this virtual way would be extremely difficult. I have never been good at letting go and letting things come to a close, I hold on to moments and people, clinging to them even when they are miles away from me. I spent so much of this year dreading graduation approaching and having to yet again face an ending, an ending I was terrified of. I love school, it is the thing I have always excelled at and what I have known for my whole life. I so tightly intertwined my identity with being a student it seemed impossible that a time would come where I would have to untangle the two. For months I was in constant panic and fear of that moment, that without that identity I would not be complete. It felt like for months I was grieving this perfect version of myself that felt unattainable in a world outside of school.
After I presented my thesis I looked at myself in the little zoom box and was flooded with the overwhelming realization of how much I had grown over the past four years. I saw a reflection of someone that was an adult now with an identity beyond the classroom, someone that had outgrown college and was ready for the next chapter. Everything in that moment just clicked and I exhaled with a confidence I had been missing for a year. I am not as terrified as I once was about time passing because it is the only way I will continue to grow. I am beyond proud of the person I have built because I worked so hard to get here and I am excited for who I will continue to become. I have shed so many identities and grown into a full person, when did that happen?
I look to all my friends and I see the same but drastically different people that I met four years ago. I am in some ways who I was that first day and in others unrecognizable. One of the things I have loved the most about college is the way it challenged me to constantly question who I am and allowed me to be different versions of myself. My advice to everyone in Her Campus and in undergrad as a whole is to soak up the space for exploration. Embrace the in between moments more, the discomfort of losing parts of yourself and regaining new ones. As cliche as it sounds the time really does pass quickly so use it to be as many versions of yourself as possible, constantly discover new facets of who you are. Within all the highs and lows and breakdowns and celebrations I found solid ground to stand on, finally feeling stable and sure of my readiness for the world.