I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always love my school.
I don’t bleed brown and white like many other students, I find myself complaining about the campus more often than praising it and a majority of the time it’s isolating and lonely, covered in a blanket of snow.
Even though my college experience has had its trials and tribulations, that doesn’t make the realization that I only have one year left any less sad.
Didn’t I just arrive on campus yesterday, nervously clutching my welcome folder? Didn’t I just break my lanyard for a third time from swinging it too much during my walk to class? Didn’t my parents just kiss me goodbye and wipe away my tears after Phillip Phillips’ “Home” carried the candlelight ceremony?
And how did I finally outgrow my freshman going out clothes? How did I trade that crop top for a blazer? How did my schedule evolve from University 101 to French 406? How did my friends become the hosts of the off-campus parties instead of the underage and inexperienced guests? How do I already have three free basketball home-opener t-shirts?
How do I already have to leave my family?
People warn graduating high school seniors that college goes by quickly, and that in the blink of an eye, you’ll be walking across the stage clutching a Bachelor’s Degree as tightly as your welcome folder. You’ll be crying listening to “Home.” You’ll be blowing out a candle at your last candlelight ceremony as an undergraduate, this time crying harder than your parents did three short years ago.
You’ll miss the crappy dining hall food, pushing your car out of the snow as quickly as possible so you’re not late to class, standing on the sticky floors of some party at some house.
You’ll miss learning, you’ll miss discovering things about yourself that you never knew existed, you’ll miss getting your heartbroken and laughing so hard you can’t breathe.
You’ll miss the friends that have become family and the professors that have become parents, mentors and friends.
You’ll miss home. It took me three years to realize that Bonaventure isn’t just some small town college in the middle of nowhere. It’s a place of acceptance, growth, caring and learning.
And as much as I love to hate it, I have no idea what I’d do without it.