Drunken Revelations with an Impending College Graduate

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We meant to study. That was how this night began. After a few too many glasses and a solid attempt at studying, here we are, discussing the nuances of the perfect wine night snacks. Hint: the perfect combo is a nice Cab with chips and queso (trust me, it’s glorious).

I’ve spent almost seven years with my high school best friend. Having gone through our formative years together, I am now convinced that this is the most meaningful relationship I will ever have. We’ve created our own little group of ladies, all of whom I know would be there for me in a heartbeat, whatever I needed. And in my last semester of college, filled with panic attacks over my future and deadlines coming out the wazoo, this is exactly what I need.

I’ve spent four years in college. My graduation in April creeps ever closer. I’m not quite sure that the plan I’d committed the last two years to is still what I want. For those in the same position, you already know: this is terrifying. Senior year in and of itself feels terrifying. Add in a crisis of existential proportions and a heaping help of uncertainty and it turns into a recipe for panic and disaster. I don’t know about you, but for me my ladies are the antidote.

When things get rough, they take me out. We laugh and cry and hyperventilate and laugh again until all of it seems inconsequential. They complete me. All of the things I lack in my day to day life, they provide: perspective about my future, the perfect snack combos, insults for the guy who did me wrong and even a serenade when I’ve gotten just a little too serious.

Everyone needs people in their life to pull them out of the deepest depths and anchor them as they soar their highest so they don’t fly away. These ladies, in these moments, are mine. This seems like a love letter because it is. This friendship is the foundation on which my life is built. It’s sometimes the only thing carrying me through my very intense fear of the future.

If you plan on graduating this year, surely you understand this fear. My advice to you? Find the people who pull you out of the depths and keep you from flying too high. More than likely they will not come in the form you expect. But, when you find people who understand you, who can listen to you say anything without explanation and know exactly what you mean, hold onto them. Dig your claws in and never let go. These are the people who will hold you when life gets hard. And in the next few years it might.

It’s entirely possible that your life might not be what you pictured. In fact, it’s more than likely to be entirely different. But that doesn’t mean you won’t end up exactly where you should be. You will be where you’re supposed to at the end of the day—you just might need to take a few detours along the way. If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you know that detours can be more fun than the actual destination if you take them with the right people.

When I went to my freshman orientation four years ago, my advisor told me to, “Find my people.” At the time I thought he was crazy. I looked at him with all of the disdain I threw at all hippie-esque advice providers when I was 17. I didn’t understand. And yet here we are four years later. Looking back my favorite part of college was not the books I read, or the classes I took, but the people I met and the impacts they made on me.

I found my people, and it made all of the difference.

Chances are if you’re leaving college soon, you’ve found your people at some point over the last four years. Cling tight. That may sound like bad advice, but in the coming months and years you’ll need each other. When you spread across the country, or even across the world, keep in touch. Checking in with them may be what keeps you going—knowing that someone, somewhere, has your back.

Don’t shy away from sentimentality in these last few months—embrace it. Hang on to those last sheds of your collegiate life. Make a list of all the things you said you would do in your college town, but never did. Now do them. It’s not over yet. Live these last months so in the years to come, you can say you got everything you wanted from your college experience. As for your people, carry them with you. Wherever you go, whoever you become, hold onto the moments you captured when you were young and (relatively) carefree. These are the moments we live for. Don’t listen to the people telling you to grow up. Hang on to that youthful spark inside of you and don’t let go.

Kelly is a senior at the University of Florida majoring in English and Anthropology. She is highly prone to feminist rants and has an unhealthy obsession with books.

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