I am finished with college.
The reality and finality of an ending can have an interesting effect on your perspective. Call it nostalgia, call it selective memory loss, but sometimes the things that once appeared hideous and agonizing are softened by the rosy glow of the setting sun, marking the close of that chapter of your life.
This was not my experience when coming to terms with my departure from college. I briefly contemplated taking the high road, facing my graduation with grace, or the self-actualized tranquility that often accompanies the first pangs of nostalgia. But then I thought my parting words should be more true to my college experience rather than sugar-coated or rose-tinted. So, as I leave my college years behind me, I say: suck it, college.
Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to earnestly feel any regret at leaving this place. Sure, I'll miss the handful of great people I've known here (and the dumplings), but I can't say I feel anything but joy and relief at the prospect of getting out of this place. Maybe I'm a little saddened by the fact that I'm not sad to be leaving, but that's about it.
That joy and relief is tinted with fear as I slowly come to the realization that I will now be forced to enter the Real World. As I face the vast, open prairie land that is my future, I do so with a mix of terror, excitement, and more terror. In contemplating my graduation from college, I can't help but remember a quote from my friend's speech at our high school graduation: "Don't stop believing."