This past weekend, I made a much-needed trip home to see family, decompress for a bit and catch up on sleep in the comfort of my own home. Blame it on the changing of the season, a week full of gloomy headlines or midterm stress, but Athens felt like it was in rare form — and I needed an escape.
Anybody who knows me well can tell you that I suffer from near-chronic bouts of homesickness. After a month in Athens (which, I know, doesn’t sound like much), it was clearly time for a break. But something about this trip felt different. Not bad, necessarily. Just different.
On a drive with my mom, we talked about the stock market. The stock market. I asked questions about things like buying a house and getting a good credit score.
And in that moment, it felt like a switch had been flipped, suddenly reminding me that internship applications are due soon and that I better start thinking about things like money and apartments and what kind of retirement plan I should sign up for if I want to live a comfortable life.
Of course, those are all normal thoughts to have. They’re the same thoughts that keep plenty of people up night after night. But at 21? Wasn’t I supposed to be busy thinking about my Saturday night plans or worrying about finals?
When I first started writing this weekly column in August, I talked a little bit about how college years are often accompanied by a nagging feeling of being wedged between childhood and adulthood. And although I might have assumed that senior year would feel like a step toward the adulthood end of that spectrum, I’ve noticed that so many of us begin to vie for the comforts of our youth instead, all the while itching for — or dreading — graduation day.
Last week, I was in class, preparing to sit down for a lively lecture on a subject I’m opting not to name (I’ve been made very aware that my professors actually read this column), and, once again, something just didn’t quite feel right. I’ve always been the type of person who gets excited about class — you know, the person who takes handwritten notes with pastel-colored highlighters.
But for whatever reason, a strange sense of apathy began to set in. Was it dreaded “senioritis?” I flicked through my calendar and made a mental note of graduation day. It seemed far enough away.
Not to sound like a broken record (or maybe your parents) here, but these four years pass you by extraordinarily fast. Before you know it, you’ll be walking in your last Homecoming parade with a confusing feeling of “Wait, wasn’t I just doing this yesterday?”
You’ll be sitting at your favorite table at Union Street Diner, laughing with friends over milkshakes and french fries, and it’ll hit you like a proverbial ton of bricks. Your time here is limited, and you might be tempted to take it for granted. I, for one, hope you don’t. Enjoy every second of it. Remember — it doesn’t last forever.