I graduated in December, but it just hit me now that I finally finished college.
This past year has felt kind of emotionally messy. (As in the past 12 months… mainly 2016.) Every now and then I think back on my final semester at Del Val and I wish I could erase it. Then again, I also made great friends and became closer with other great friends that semester, so I tell myself it was all worth it.
Luckily I have such a kind, caring, supportive boyfriend to help me cope with my stress. I’m not sure if I would have made it out of college alive if it wasn’t for him. So I truly have him to thank. He wasn’t the cause of my messy semester, he was right there beside me to help me clean up my mess.
I guess I can blame it on the stress of being a senior-year college student. Yeah, that makes sense. Classes are ridiculously challenging, plus you have an extreme life change standing right ahead of you. In a way, the pre-vet students had it easier. Sure, they had to work a million times harder than the rest of us, but at least they had a plan. After graduation, they know exactly where they’re going and what they’re doing for the next four years. After I graduated college, I didn’t even know what I would be doing for the next four months. And here I am, nearly four months later, and I’m still lost.
It’s funny, looking back, I can see that your high stress levels in college turn into a sense of comfort. College students always have something they need to be doing, which is actually very comforting if you think about it. Studying is a form of meditation: you put all of your focus into a single topic until the rest of the world zones out. In a way, studying was like an escape from reality. And registration (picking classes for next semester) makes you feel like you are the master of your own destiny.
So, college students may be slowly dying inside, but they’re happy about it. It’s an illusion that makes them feel like they have control over their lives.
When I first came to Del Val, it was pure bliss. I felt this sense of belonging I never felt in high school. Everything was perfect. Then, as each semester went on, stress levels got higher. Why can’t every year of college just feel like freshmen year? When you go to a university, it’s easy to pick out the freshmen from the upperclassmen. The freshmen class is full of hope while the upperclassmen have drained spirits and permanent dark circles under their eyes.
As my time at Del Val was coming to an end, it was Hell. I lost a very close friend who I met my freshmen year, and each attempt I made to restore our friendship, I ended up pushing her away even more. I said things to people out of pure anger that I did not mean. With college coming to an end, my comfortable illusion of being in control of my life was fading away. I clung onto the illusion as hard as I could by trying to manipulate others and get my own way. I was holding onto people I needed to let go of, and ignoring people who deserved my attention the most. I did some bad things to people, and people did some bad things to me.
Unfortunately, I left Del Val on a bitter note. I keep reminding myself of all the amazing things my experience at Del Val gave me: the love of my life, valuable friendships, confidence, bravery, will-power, faith, and an easier time talking to strangers. But I’m fixated on the bad: how I looked like a total idiot in many situations.
One time during chemistry lab, sophomore year, I was about to drop something into a test tube. The professor looks at me and panics, “DON’T!” and for some reason, as soon as he said that, I dropped it into the test tube and of course it broke and glass smashed all over the floor and I bursted out into tears. It was extremely embarrassing. But then my lab partner asked me if I was okay, and I told her, “just one of those days…” and she completely understood.
But that wasn’t nearly as bad as the time we had to pick a disease to give an oral presentation about. I have no idea how (I guess my subconscious really likes to f*** with me) but somehow I ended up picking a topic that someone else was already planning on using because they already did a presentation on this specific disease in a previous class we had together. So this person thought that I purposely stole their project from them. This person even confronted me about it but I thought they were just joking with me. I didn’t actually realize this until I already started the project, and so I figured it was too late to change my topic. I really wish I did though, because it was the most awkward presentation I’ve ever given.
I still have anxiety about my college experience, even though it’s over now. It’s crazy how you can meet so many people, and still, not a single person becomes less important. Each person I met in college was like a puzzle piece, and removing somebody (no matter how small their “part” was) makes it incomplete. There are many people from college who I know I will stay in contact with, and that makes me so happy! And then there are other people from college who I most likely will never see again, and that truly upsets me.
If you’re reading this and you attended Del Val, I can promise you that you were an important part of my life. It doesn’t matter if we are still in direct contact through social media or not, you still matter. You’re very important to me and I look back on our memories with happiness. I apologize for not letting you know how much I care. If I have ever said/done anything to hurt you, I swear I didn’t mean it, and I am sincerely sorry. Every single soul I met at Del Val is beautiful. There’s not a single person who I wish harm upon. I want the best for my former classmates.
It is time to finally let go. Peace out, Del Val!