The End Doesn’t Feel Real

I can confidently say the best years of my life have been in college. I need the structure, the crumbs of responsibility, the freedom from paying health insurance. So when people remind me that there are two more days of classes, I don’t even feel anything. No emotion, because my brain can’t understand that this period is closing.

I realized for the first time yesterday how much was taken away from us this year. I feel guilty saying things were taken from “me” because this pandemic has affected us all. At times, it hurts because I feel like I can’t complain on my own about my own problems because this pandemic is felt by all, not just me. I guess I just wish I had more memories that didn’t look all the same. Yes, this year was wonderful, but it is hard to remember special days when everyday was spent in the same house, in the same outfit.

I forgot that I was looking forward to being a senior. I wanted so long so enjoy the clout being 21 automatically gives you. But I didn’t go out. I didn’t meet a first-year student to mentor. I didn’t get to be the senior that every younger girl in the sorority looks up to. And when I was living my life this year I didn’t crave those things, I went with the flow and acknowledged that we were all missing out.  I liked my slow Zoom days, followed by familiar reruns of shows from my childhood with my roommates. But now that it’s over and this time will never be returned to me I am starting to feel pain.

In a way, it’s like my loved one has received news that they have a terminal illness. I can try to enjoy this time I have, but in the back of my mind I remember, “This might be the last time.” I mourn the idea of my five roommates, my five best friends, never seeing each other again at the same time. I feel like I need them all, like they are all a part of me. And I don’t think I can move on from this experience alone. I’m not ready to live by myself, be the sole Ruler of my life. I am a 21 year old kid, and the world around me is growing up. But I am not ready and I am very scared.

Have you felt like you have missed any milestones because of the pandemic? How has this affected you? For those who have graduated college, what advice do you have about life after?

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