If my life were a book, which might be an interesting read, I would say I am just now turning from the final page of Chapter 4, and starting that ominous Chapter 5. My thought process is that my elementary years were Chapter 1, middle school years Chapter 2, High School Chapter 3, and Chapter 4 was my first three and a half years of college. And today I am making my final trip to my old college town to close up my lease and say my final goodbyes. Let me tell you it is incredibly bittersweet.
It would be a complete and utter lie to say I hated my old university, because that is not the case at all. The best way for me to describe it may be that I grew out of it, or perhaps even better, things just changed- especially me. Whenever I withdrew, I received quite a few emails from concerned professors that I had established relationships with over the years, and while I felt liberated to be starting somewhere new, I became incredibly aware that my time there was important to my growth not only as a student, but as a person.
It is quite daunting transferring schools when you’ve found a comfortable corner already. My professors all knew me and I knew the university like the back of my hand. Not to mention, I finally figured out the layout of the town! No more getting lost! I feel like I could make an article in itself on the woes of transferring (all that lost credit is so incredibly frustrating!). And I couldn’t even begin to relay all the incredibly fond memories I spent with my fiancé there and getting the chance to watch him cross that stage last year. So, so worth it!
Now I get to do it all over again, which is both incredibly exciting and incredibly worrisome- but who doesn’t like a fresh start and a new adventure!
I sound silly to myself because I’m essentially going to college in my hometown, which should be comfortable enough. I mean, I was born there! But I’ve barely spent any time on the campus and I don’t know any of the staff other than my reassuring transfer advisor. Not to mention I am registering entirely on my own, getting disheartened watching that graduation date sneak further and further into the future.
It is funny because I’ve always wanted to do life “the right way”. Finish primary school, secondary school, go to college in four years, graduate and get a job, have a family, etc etc. All neat little life chapters. Honestly that sounds pretty boring, and perhaps subconsciously I am trying to spice it up! As an American young adult I somehow got set in that cultural agreement of how things are supposed to work and if you don’t follow the smooth paved way, you’ve screwed up somehow.
How incredibly cruel and wrong that belief is. I don’t think any of my family or friends would see my life choices that way, and I would never judge anyones life path, especially after everything I have experienced emotionally this year and the consequences of all my decisions. I have wanted to make this decision for about a year now and because I repressed doing what I wanted to do with what I thought everyone else thought I should do, just made things more difficult and my road quite a bit more bumpy.
Whether Robert Frost intended for it or not, my life has played out exactly like his “The Road Not Taken”. To outsiders I am always making crazy decisions and twist and turns on my path, but to me it’s a beautiful mess of figuring things out the way I need to. So I am just going to start mixing up my chapters and let things get crazy if they need to be (okay probably not, but it will be exciting all the same)!
And all this reminiscing and “what ifs” playing out in my head made me remember this quote that Elizabeth Gilbert quoted from her mother.
“In years to come, more information may come to light, and you may regret your decision. But you must forgive yourself in advance for that possibility. You must never forget that you selected the very best path you could for yourself at that moment in time, give what you knew then. And then let it go.”
And now I need to get back to closing up Chapter 4 on a good page 😉