I’m leaving for college in the fall.
God, it doesn’t even sound real. I’m leaving for college. I am departing for ‘life after high school’. The bird is leaving the nest. How am I supposed to leave? I can’t even do my own fucking laundry, let alone take care of myself when I’m sick or lonely.
I wanna take the world by storm. I wanna find what I’m good at and be excellent. I have ambition.It’s not pointed in any specific direction at the moment, but it’s there, and it’s powerful. But is it worth missing my brother’s first year of high school? Of making sure my little sister still laughs at all our jokes and doesn’t say the word ‘totes’? Or my best friend, my sister who’s going to be filling her college applications and going through the rollercoaster I went through.
(As I’m writing this, my youngest sister is trying to replicate Joey from Friend’s “How YOU doing,” and failing spectacularly.)
Everyone asks themselves what the point is of waking up every morning. Why should we get up, why should we try? I love my parents, but I want to help answer those questions for my siblings when they come up. I want my Mom to tell me good morning cheerfully, even when I look like an angry raccoon with bedhead.
It’s not like I’m vanishing for the next 4 years. I’m going to come home as often as I can. But I’m also not stupid, and I know that once I move out, things are never gonna be quite the same. And I need to learn how to let go so I can build something new, something potentially better.
I’m so excited for college, but I’m so terrified of letting go.
And God, I’m so scared I’m going to mess up. I’ve never really felt true fear in my life. I’ve been scared, sure, when we couldn’t locate my brother or my little sister fell asleep under the bed for hours and we couldn’t find her. But I’ve never been bone-chillingly terrified. Terrified that I will go against everything I believe in, against everything I was raised to protect myself against. Terrified that I’ll be so swept up in the moment, I’ll forget that that ‘s all it is. A moment. Just a blink in time that could cast a shadow on the rest of my life. I’m young and impulsive and about to go to move out for college at a good school that’s also a party school. If I start down the wrong path, I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough to pull myself off it. And if by some miracle I am, I don’t even know who I’ll be.
But that’s why we get up in the morning, I guess. To fight through another day, through another make more moments and more memories. To fight, so that one day you wake up, look in the mirror, and know you’re strong enough. You can win the fight with yourself, the urge to let what you want be what you can’t live without, to lose sight of what’s important.
It’s so, so easy to make the wrong choice. And that’s what I’m afraid of.
That my wrong choice has already begun.