The struggles of leaving for college and accepting change

The struggles of leaving for college and accepting change

Mia Rojas, columnist

In TV shows and movies, characters going off to college-signals a new season and new beginnings – all new characters, a new setting, new plotlines, new everything. 

Over the past few months, as I finished up my college applications, I found myself preparing to enter a new season of my life as well.

I should be excited since I have been dreaming of this ever since I saw my own sisters going off to college, but recently, all I have been able to think about is what I am leaving behind. The dog I’ve grown up with, the friends I’ve made throughout school, and the parents that raised me.

Suddenly, my life is changing, everything I know is changing, and I feel an overwhelming sadness that my childhood is over. No more playing mermaids in the pool with my friends, no more running around through the sprinklers with my sisters, and no more first-day-of-school pictures in front of my house. Of course, I’ll be home for breaks and I can facetime my friends and family anytime, but I still have this numbing feeling that I’m going to be on my own.

I haven’t even left, I’m still here with my loved ones, yet I feel lonelier than ever.

As I write this, I feel my fingers stall on the keyboard because I still don’t know how I’ll feel once I leave for college. I fear when I leave, part of me will still be stuck in the arms of my mom as she comforts me after my first day of preschool. I fear I will be weighed down by the soft comforter I crawled under in my parent’s bedroom after I had a nightmare. I fear I won’t be able to leave our nightly family dinners, recapping the highlights of the day.

Knowing I will have to leave is hard. Having the courage to accept that it’s for the best is even harder. 

But as Winnie the Pooh said, “Boy how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so difficult.” 

I know a part of myself will always be stuck in those fragments of my childhood, but not in the negative way I thought before. I will always have those moments to remember how beautiful it was to grow up, learn, change, and love as much as possible.

Whether you still have some high school left to go, are a senior like me, or are out of high school, remember that there’s no reason to run away from change. It’s supposed to feel scary, uncertain, and almost as if you’re leaving behind a part of yourself, because in a way you are. You’re entering a new chapter in your life which means along with your environment, you will undergo major changes as well. Although it may be scary or uncomfortable, this is a necessary part of growing up because we were never supposed to live and feel the same way forever. 

As possibly the most nostalgic person to ever exist, remembering to embrace changes in my life is always a work in progress. However, for someone struggling with the same thing, I urge you to reminisce on good times, be grateful that they happened, and let the universe kiss you as you enter each new chapter of your life.