Final memories taken too soon

By Caylan Harrison

College has been the most rewarding and amazing experience I have ever had in my entire life, but I never imagined it ending like this.

I know this semester isn’t technically over yet, but I feel as if I’ve already given up on myself, and I know I’m not the only one. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’m beyond stressed, but above all else, I’m disappointed. Disappointed I did not appreciate this experience more while I still had the chance to experience it.

No late nights spent in the library, no sporting events, and no in-person classes. I never thought that I would miss going to class, but now I’d do anything to go back.

Due to the current health pandemic, classes are online for the remainder of the semester and graduation is postponed. Because of this, my life is completely turned upside down and I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

All schools are closed. Restaurants are closed. Stores are closed. Dog parks are closed. There is a statewide order for everyone to stay at home. How has my life changed this drastically in one week?!

I have no schedule, no routine, and no sense of balance. I feel like everything I love was ripped away from me before I could even realize what I had. Instead of relaxing my senior year in college as I’m finishing the requirements for my hard-earned degree, I’m frantic about finding a place to live.

However, I can’t find a place to live when I have no source of income, so now I’m even more stressed about finding a job. But wait, I’m not allowed to leave my house unless it’s essential. So my interviews will be over an awkward video call to practice social distancing.

I would do anything to go back on campus to see all of my favorite professors and friends. I even miss all of the Sodexo employees, especially Ms. Gina who made me coffee basically every day.

I realize that I have taken for granted the friendships and connections I have made in college. I was so used to seeing everyone every day that I didn’t appreciate the interactions I was having with them. And now I’m hurting because I might not see some of them ever again.

I always pictured my last day on campus to be filled with laughter, celebration, and no stress or anxiety because I’d finally be finished with all of my requirements and walking across the stage into the next chapter of my life.

Now I don’t get to experience that. I don’t get to celebrate with everyone during the LDOC festival, go to sporting events for the last time, or finally experience a dance where I can order an alcoholic beverage for the first time.

I might not get the chance to walk across a stage and receive my degree and that’s what hurts the most. Especially since being homeschooled, I’ve never had that experience.

My college experience is ending in the most heartbreaking way I can imagine. If you are a senior in high school or college, I feel for you and I am here for you. If you know a senior, reach out to them and tell them you’re proud of them.