More specifically: hey, first-years.
Summer’s over, and it was a quick one for most of you. To think that only three months ago you were tossing off those graduation caps and exiting the stage with a strange eager blend of nervousness and excitement. Two years ago, I was in the exact same position; counting down the days until I started a new chapter of life. And I wrote about it here—about that summer after grad—and how it wasn’t what I expected it to be:
“Too much work, not enough play, too much thinking, not enough doing.”
How are you doing? Did ISW sweep you off your feet in a whirlwind of cheers and colour and events? Did it make all your anxiety about leaving summer vanish? Or are you still regretting everything you didn’t do—like not visiting that old friend, or taking that road trip?
I felt all of those things. I worried that high school, “the best four years of your life,” according to some, was over and I wasted my chance. And now, to start over at the bottom of the food chain, a freshman at university, was terrifying.
I didn’t know anything about living on residence, or writing perfect essays, or pulling all-nighters after a weekend bender. My future was unknown. I didn’t know what I would major in, or where I would end up, or if I would make as many friends as I wanted to.
Here’s the thing: Fuck that. Fuck everything that people tell you high school is supposed to be. Ignore people that make you feel small for not living up to ridiculous standards. Don’t let the looming future of adulthood overwhelm you. Because we’re all in the same ridiculously fun, crowded, confusing boat. Let go of summer. Because you’ll find as you move on from first year, you will want to shake summer off. It dragged me down. My town hasn’t changed. My family hasn’t changed. I’m the one that has, and I’m ready to dive back in to what is home now: my school.
As I pointed out two years ago, this isn’t the movies, and I’m still waiting on a lot of things. I have no idea where I’ll be in a few years or if I’ll even have a job. But who cares? I’ve taken that leap. I conquered first year. And soon, sitting in a coffee shop getting your caffeine fix, hurriedly writing a paper before a deadline, it all becomes something unabashedly adult.
Scary as hell, and undeniably awesome.