Reflections on Leaving the Only Home I Have Ever Known

by • May 1, 2015 • Featured, Life @ BCComments (0)517

On May 18th, 2015, I will graduate from Boston College.

I’ve been preparing to write those words for far longer than these past four years. My dad went here, and so did three of his brothers, and so did his dad. I am absolutely the definition of a legacy student. Here’s a quick, embarrassing, and completely true hit list: For Boston was the first song I learned in its entirety. My first (and to this day only) AOL screen name was “BCEaglesfan93.” We have not only a Boston College Santa at my house (the wish list of the little girl on his lap reads “Beat Notre Dame”) but a Boston College Easter basket, designed by yours truly at the tender age of 9 or so. In short, since childhood, it was always expected that I would end up at BC. Well, here I am.

On May 18th, 2015, I will graduate from Boston College.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.08.54 AMThere have been countless times over the past four years when I could not imagine writing those words at all. Like freshman year, when I decided that since I didn’t have any friends by October, I wouldn’t make any at all, and started filling out transfer applications. Like sophomore year, when I returned to campus early from winter break for a service trip, having spent the last day of break crying, begging my parents not to bring me back. Like junior year, when I discovered it still wasn’t too late to transfer but still didn’t pull the trigger. Like plenty of moments this year, when even this late in the game, it didn’t always feel like home. Since entering college, I almost never expected that I would graduate from BC. Well, here I am.

So I guess, with fewer than three weeks left, here are my takeaways.

Everyone will assume you will know what you’re doing. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone will need it, but few will admit it. Practice love. Constantly practice self-love. Learn to let go. Learn to let loose. Learn the difference between the two. Learn some stuff in classes, but learn as much, if not more, out of class. Most of that will come naturally – or if not naturally, as a side effect of the constant passage of time. Let time pass. It will whether you want it to or not.

You might get a zero on your Senior 5. You might feel like you fail at a bunch of other things too. But you’re the only one keeping score. College is hard. Not just academically, but socially, and spiritually, as well as any other “-lly”s you feel are appropriate. But you’re not the only one who thinks it’s hard. I’ve lost track of the number of times friends have told me, with great trepidation, how they were really feeling. I’ve lost track of the number of times friends have been relieved when I’ve done the same to them, because it meant that someone else understood them. Find people and things that make the bad days better and the good days great. If you don’t find them right away, keep looking.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.11.19 AMDespite my history with this school, it took all four years for me to find all of those right people and things here. But I never stopped looking for the love I knew I deserved.

On May 18th, 2015, I will graduate from Boston College.

Will it be hard to leave? In some ways, absolutely. I’ve been coming here for sports games since before I knew what sports were. Will it be hard to leave? In some ways, not at all. I’m ready to move on. I have my whole life ahead of me to make use of my blessings in whatever way I choose. I learned a lot here. That’s what college is all about. What took me perhaps the longest to learn is perhaps the most relevant: I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I’ll always hold parts of this place with me, and that’s all you can ask for any place you call home.

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