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nature flowers spring pink
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Jackie Ryan / Her Campus
Life > Experiences

Oh God, The Cherry Blossoms Might Be a Metaphor

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Okay, OBVIOUSLY, the cherry blossoms are a metaphor.

I really struggled with my sister moving last summer. We moved around constantly when we were kids, to different schools, homes, and cities. I had lived in three different countries by the time I was 16. Because of this, I never had a physical place as a childhood home, my childhood home was a person. More specifically, it is my older sister. So, when she moved across the country to Atlanta, I went through an extremely unsettling phase of feeling untethered. I started college on a shaky foundation, scared and unsure.

I remember when we moved back to America in 2019, this time living life on the West Coast. We followed my sister to her college: the University of Washington. I remember walking across her campus, weirded out that my sister was a College Student™, but more so at the fact that she had a whole life here, one that I wasn’t a part of. The campus was big, and I felt small, and I remember her navigating it like she’s been doing it her whole life. Going through life effortlessly was an unshakeable habit she picked up around five years old, one that I’ve envied from the sidelines. She grew up in the time I had seen her, and now we were tourists, peeking into her life in the middle of April, surrounded by the other hundred people that bumbled down to Seattle to see the street pick up pink sprouts of color everywhere. Some of them were other family members, visiting their kids at college, maybe having a similar crisis as fifteen-year-old me.                                                                                                                                             

Four years later, I am sitting in my dorm room, waiting for my mom to text me that she’s here so we can walk around the quad so she can see the cherry blossoms before they leave for another year. I am waiting in my dorm room where I have nursed hangovers back to full health, where I have been sexiled, where I’ve cried over a final, where my roommates know more about me than most people know about themselves. I became the College Student™, navigating through the campus without a thought, knowing my feet will land me in my Intro to Communications class, without having to focus on getting there. I’ve accidentally grown up in the last few months. I hadn’t even noticed. I’ve been getting older and more mature, and yet, the whole time I’ve been going through this arduous, heartbreaking process some refer to as becoming a “young woman”, I’ve been dealing with the loss of childhood and the scary 2,662 miles of distance between me and my first best friend.

I will never be fifteen again, walking around a campus too big for tiny me. I will never be thirteen again, stumbling into my sister’s room and telling her that our mom called so I had an excuse to hang out with her cool, older friends. I will never be seven again, in a new country, holding my sister’s hand as the only thing tethering me to this new, unfamiliar, foreign ground. I will never be four again, treating my sister’s words like gospel. I’ll never be a kid again. 

But, I will always be a little sister. 

The cherry blossoms mean a lot of different things for different people. The ushering of a new season, brighter, and more colorful (and hopefully kinder) than the last one. The reminder that summer is just around the corner, so close you can taste it. Or, it’s just a nice background for the next instagram post. For me, the cherry blossoms reminds me of how much it all changes, and how it all comes back. The cherry blossoms will go away in a few weeks, the trees will remain big and beautiful, but less colorful. UW will get less busy and students will forget how stressful it is dodging the visitors in the middle of the path, not a care in the world. 

My sister will leave home, I’ll follow suit but in a different direction. But we’ll come back, always. Just like the cherry blossoms. 

Kareena Desai Naik

Washington '26

Kareena is a film major, with a focus in screenwriting, at the University of Washington. Her favorite artist is Amy Winehouse and she is scared of ducks. Weird kid!