That Awkward Moment When You Realize You’re Graduating

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Let’s revisit a fun TBT from four years ago to the actual panic attack I had five minutes into the drive to Penn State before freshman year. Did I feel nervous about beginning college? Hell yes. Did I blame my freak out on thinking I forgot my retainer? Absolutely. Fast forward to this year, which will be my last (provided all goes as planned). I’m not even moving back in until the day before classes start and I don’t feel stressed at all. Instead, I do feel a little sad.

When you talk to college kids entering their senior year, they almost always say, “I can’t believe it’s already been four years.” Before college, I told myself I’d never do that—I’d never become so basic as to say and believe the same thing as everybody else. But, here I am, four years later, and now I can’t believe that my college years are almost over.

No, I’m not one of those lame-ass washed-up college fanatics who believes that nothing can ever compare to the four short years you spend as an undergrad. Still, I’m just not ready to leave. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my shitty apartment where my old roommate broke the blinds in her hungover, vampire-like outburst of fear against the central Pennsylvanian sunlight. I’m not ready for Saturday afternoons to no longer mean 300-person daylongs in fenced-in frat yards or tailgates for football games we only half watch. I’m not ready to trade in my yoga pants that I never actually wear to do yoga for the ever-professional Hillary Clinton slacks in neutral tones. I’m not ready for drinking on a weeknight to be considered inappropriate (if you’re still in college and you already think it is, you’re doing it wrong), nor for it to become impossible to sleep on my friends’ couches after binge-watching American Horror Story, because we’ll all eventually move in different directions.

In just two short semesters, my friends and I will move back to our hometowns or to new cities with brand new jobs. Splitting a pizza while relaying the weekend’s exploits will turn into an activity we coordinate over Skype. Sharing clothes will require FedExing packages instead of raiding each other’s closets while the other person is distracted by perfecting her contour. Cheering at the football games will mean screaming ridiculously at a TV screen rather than yelling festive chants from metal stadium bleachers.

If you’re reading this and you’re about to begin your freshman year of college, trust that I’m not playin’ when I say that I really do envy you. If you’ve ever wondered why older college kids all hate freshman like you, here’s why: although you definitely act obnoxious and tactless and try too hard to be cool on the whole, the real reason we’re salty stems from the fact that you still have all four years (or more) of college to enjoy, while we have none. Sure, many of us may continue our educations to attend medical, law or graduate school, but that sure as hell isn’t the same, from what I hear.

I’m sure, in due time, we’ll feel at peace about leaving college behind, but, for now, I’ll look toward May 2017 with dread. Good thing we still have two whole semesters to make our last year count. You bet you can catch us screaming our hearts out next to you in the student section come September.

Here, at last, comes the part where I’m supposed to tell you to cherish your college experience and make every second of overdrinking, cramming and eating greasy food with new forever friends count. Just in case somebody on your newsfeed hasn’t attempted to use this as an inspirational attention-hoe caption today already, you do in fact “miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” as Wayne Gretzky (or Michael Scott) said. But I know that those of you who are going to take college and life by the horns will do that whether or not I or anybody else needlessly tells you. So, do your thing. F–k it up. We’re rooting for you–albeit grudgingly.

Sara is a senior broadcast journalism major at Penn State. She loves traveling, watching cooking videos, and puppies.

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