Five years, so many tests and tears later, I finally made it to my last semester in college. Words could not possibly describe the stress and anxiety that comes along with your last semester. Words could also never describe the nostalgia, and bittersweet moments that make your heart swell and eyes water as well. There are moments during your last few months of college that will test you, push you to your absolute limit and make you think to yourself, “I cannot wait to graduate and get out of this pace”. It might be because of a simple argument with your roommate of two years, it might a disagreement between you and the one professor you will never see eye to eye with, it might be all of the weighted worry that comes with knowing your life is about to change and the home you’ve known for the past five years will no longer be home. Woven along between the bad moments there are also those special moments during your last semester that will make you wonder how you are ever going to give college up. A moment sitting on the couch with your roommates drinking wine laughing at another re-run of Friends, it might be as you attend your last club fundraiser or event, it might be as you walk to class and pass the bush you rode your friend Nick’s longboard into. As I sit here and try to ponder my favorite memory of the semester I have come to the realization that I simply cannot just pick one.
There were so many wonderful memories that I will take with me forever. One of my favorite memories would be sitting on my boyfriend’s couch, watching movies and drinking my mom’s home-made hot chocolate. She had sent me with a giant bag of it as I left to come back to school after Christmas break. I decided to surprise my boyfriend. I told him my car was having trouble and I wouldn’t be able to make it home until the day before school started. He tried to sound like it didn’t bother him but I could hear the disappointment in his voice. We hadn’t seen each other in what felt like weeks. After I had him convinced that we would have to wait just a little bit longer I hopped in the car and headed for Las Cruces. Around ten O’clock that night I called him and asked what he was doing, “I’m just at my place watching t.v. what about you babe?” he said on the phone. As I pulled up to his house I told him to peek out the window. As soon as he recognized my car he swung the door open and welcomed me with a big bear hug. Surprisingly, Las Cruces does get cold in the winter, and the nights are perfect for cuddling up next to one another. We spent the rest of that evening watching movies, cracking jokes at each other, pretending to wrestle, and just genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Although school hadn’t started yet, I think we both realized that this would be our last semester being able to hang out just us, seeing as I was about to graduate and he still had one more year. At the time, it didn’t occur to me how special that night was, looking back though it was the most perfect way to end winter break.
I also think about Her Campus, and all the wonderful memories this organization has brought me. There are so many favorites’ it’s incredibly hard to choose. One I think we can all agree being the best was when we all volunteered at the animal shelter. I have always have a love for pets and the opportunity brought all of us closer together as a team. It was very cold, we had been planning this for weeks. We all started to arrive at the Harley Davidson shop around 10 a.m. but no dogs had arrived yet. After about an hour we finally saw the truck from the animal shelter pull up. The excitement that glazed over each girl’s face was something out of a movie. We all lined up next to the truck to await the parade of puppies we were about to see. Each girl was set up with adog almost instantly. Nicole and Gretta, Andrea and Penelope, Logan and Bear. I’m sure we all fell in love that day. The event was an adoption event and despite our attachment we had grown for the dogs we knew we had to do our best to find them homes. We each got to know an animal that day as we spent time walking them, holding them, petting them and playing with them. I will never forget how wild Penelope was as she always tried to crawl out of Andrea’s arms. In fact, I can still hear Andrea scolding her “Penelope you need to chill out or we’re gonna have to have some serious time out”, or how Gretta, the sweetest hound dog I had ever met pulled tiny Nicole all over the parking lot. It was the first time all of us were able to be together to do something for the community. We all had a great time. We took tons of pictures and the Harley Davidson store even fed us! It was an experience we all still talk about and one I will never forget.
The other memories come from the special moments I shared with the girls I lived with. We all struggled this semester. All three of us planned on graduating this May. It was so crazy to watch two different young women as well as myself deal with the craziness of your last semester. We each got on one another’s nerves. Sometimes one of us would take too long in the one bathroom we shared, sometimes someone would forget to do this dishes, but one thing I knew for sure is that we were all still tight in some way that no one else would understand. One night, ironically we were all having relationship troubles. One roommate had recently ended her relationship and she was heartbroken, I had spent the last month arguing with my boyfriend and on this one particular night, I wasn’t sure we were going to make it, my other roommate was fighting with her boyfriend who wasn’t her official boyfriend but still her boyfriend (I think we’ve all been there) and we were all genuinely down in the dumps. We decided to stay in that night just the three of us. We got a bottle of something cheap and a little wine and stayed up for hours and hours just talking. We told each other our deepest darkest secrets. We each shared something that no one else knew, we each cried that night. We would all three take turns taking a shot and telling a story until finally we all fell asleep. It opened my eyes to how close we had all gotten despite how hard we often found it to live with each other. I realized that night that these girls cared about me and I cared about them. Yessie fell asleep on the floor, Marissa on the couch and I on the chair. We woke up around five a.m. and all headed to bed but not without hugging each other and telling one another that we loved them. The rest of the semester got hectic, we all grew more and more annoyed with each other but looking back on that night I now know that these are two young women I will forever treasure in my heart and after hearing their stories that night I now have the most respect for them and what we’ve all been through. When times get hard I like to think about that night and how much it meant to me, because we will never have that moment again. Yessie will be headed to Tucson, Marissa to Albuquerque, and I to Phoenix. It’s sad to think that we are all headed our separate ways but I am overjoyed to have been able to make the memories that I have with them and can’t wait to see where life after graduation takes us.
They say we never know the value of a moment until it’s gone. The older I get the more I understand how true that is. My last semester has been equally the best and worst one yet. I never realized what I had here in Las Cruces until the time to say goodbye finally appeared on the horizon. I have met some people and I can’t help but think “why couldn’t I have met you sooner, before I had to leave?” I have done things that have made me really re-think this whole graduation thing. Why would I want to give this up? But it is these memories that leave me thankful for the wonderful college experience I have had and content with the idea that it is now time for me to start a new chapter. I have learned the most about myself in this last semester, who I am, what I want, and what matters the most to me. Perhaps these lessons came because of how little time I had left, I had to make the most out of my last couple months here and I think I did just that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this last semester and to everyone who has been a part of my college life all together. You will never know how all of you have impacted and shaped who I am. I’ll see ya soon Las Cruces!
All pictures by: Kaylie Martinez