April 20, 2005

Growing Up

Today we go back to the places we came from and go back to the same things we did last summer and every summer before that. We will come into town on that same familiar road, and even though it has been months, it will seem like only yesterday. As you walk into your old bedroom, every emotion will pass through you as you reflect on the way your life has changed and the person you have become.

You suddenly realize that the things that were most important to you a year ago don't seem to matter so much anymore, and the things you hold highest now, no one at home will completely understand. The memories and the stories from school won't mean anything to anyone at home and yet you resent them for that… if only they could share that happiness with you.
Who will you call first?
What will you do your first weekend home with your friends?
How long before you actually start missing people barging in without calling or knocking?
Who will get Big Slice with you at 3am?

Then you start to realize how much things have changed, and you realize the hardest part of university/college is balancing the two completely different worlds you now live in, trying desperately to hold on to everything all the while trying to figure out what you have to leave behind.

Today, we leave our world of living next door to our best friends, walking across campus to eat, instant messenger, 8:00am classes, and the perpetual procrastination to a world that will seem foreign to us despite the fact that we lived in it for eighteen years.

But it is different now.

We now know the meaning of true friendship. We know whom we have kept in touch with over the past year and whom we hold dearest in our hearts. We've left our high school world to deal with the real world. We've had our hearts broken, we've fallen in love, we've helped our best friends overcome depression, stress and death. We've been wasted and we've stayed up all night on the phone just to talk to a friend in need.

There have been times when we've felt so helpless being hours away from home when we know our families needed us, and there are times we know we have made a difference.

Today we leave.
Today we take down our pictures, and pack up our clothes.
We will leave our friends whose random email and phone calls will bring us to laughter and tears this summer. We will take our memories and dreams and put them away for now, saving them for our return to this world. We will return to the same friends whose random emails and phone calls have brought us to laughter and tears over the year. We will unpack old dreams and memories that have been put away for the past year. Today we will dig deep inside to find the strength and conviction to adjust to change and still keep each other close. And somehow, in some way, we will find our place between these two completely different worlds...

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