I graduated college today. I always knew this day would come, I’ve been privileged enough to never doubt that I would in fact graduate, but I don’t feel prepared. I’m just not ready to let go.
It’s something entirely different to have spent the past four years encased in a tiny little bubble, with endless resources at my fingertips, with the knowledge that if I fell, someone would catch me. And during my time at Williams, this has all held true. It’s not that I didn’t struggle at all. Over these past four years, I have experienced some of the happiest moments of my life. Those true picture perfect moments you find in movies where you just can’t help but smile and feel content. But I’ve also experienced my darkest moments, some really horrifying experiences. And at points, I just didn’t know if it would make it through.
But I don’t regret any of it. Williams has given me what I needed, and in a way, I do know that it’s time to leave. It’s taught me that it’s good to struggle, to fall. Because you learn to pick yourself up. And contrary to what I said before, it taught me how to do all this independently. I’m proud of the fact that over the years, I’ve grown from being dependent on others to learning how to take care of myself. I’ve learned to spend time with myself without panicking about being alone and I’ve learned to cherish this time. Williams has profoundly changed me and helped my become a better version of myself, one that sometimes I am proud of. I still have a lot to learn and develop, but I don’t know how much more I could have done at college. I know it’s time to leave.
But there’s this bubble in my chest. I don’t know what it is. Probably a combination of fear, doubt, anxiety, and just plain terror. I finally figured out how to do it. And now it’s being taken away. Now I have to go do something new. The friends that I spent four years developing relationships with will no longer be at a moment’s reach. My actions will have consequences beyond bad grades. The things that I do will be real, and I will be entirely responsible for them.
And what if I can’t do it? What if I enter the world and find that I’m simply not good enough. That I simply can’t do the things I always dreamed of. That my future isn’t the way I planned it to be (because I know it never is). I know that challenges lie ahead of me and that they must because success doesn’t come without struggle. But I just want it to be easy. Or what if I’ve left my best years behind me? Whatever rickety mess this was? What if I didn’t appreciate it enough? What if I could have done it better?
I guess this is just a record of the jumbled mess my brain is right now. This entire day, I’ve been trying to remind myself to look forward to challenges, to smile when they fall upon me, and to react with poise. But I also just want to cry like a mf baby. And like I need some calm adult to talk me down because I know that everyone feels this way right now, and everyone gets through it.
I hope that one day I can look back on this post and smile with the knowledge that everything turned out okay. I just needed to let it out.