Cynical I know. I’m not a fan of this color on me but sometimes realists can be perceived as cynical.
Yesterday was the two year anniversary of my college graduation. The greatest day of my life to close out the greatest four years of my life. Or so I remember.
Yesterday and today all of my memories have been about graduation and all of my friends have been sending me their graduation memories with me in it. It’s been emotionally looking back at these pictures. My drunken smile, cheering walking off stage, jumping into everyone’s arms. It was such a magical day.
The part I don’t remember is my family stressing me out while packing up all of my belongings, ending my year long “relationship,” and crying the entire drive to Florida thinking ‘I’ll never see my friends again.’ Besides the four hours I spent drinking that day, it was actually terrible. But I don’t want to remember it like that! I want to remember the hugs and cheers and all of the craziness that happened on our way to graduation.
This is something I’ve been realizing lately about my entire college career and most likely my entire life.
I always talk about how awesome college was, the random dorm parties, the hookups, the never ending drinking, the midnight Sheetz runs, the meeting new people in the quad, the everything. And to be fair, it was a BALLER time.
But I always fail to remember how much I cried in college. I was homesick and missed my pets. I had the coach from hell. My roommate broadcasted my sex life AND wanted to kill my rabbit (ended up giving my rabbit to my mom to get her out of that). Group projects were hard and no one ever put in the same amount of work. I broke my fucking elbow and that was rough.
When I think of college I never remember these bad times but I always remember the crazy times. I’m not even friends with this guy anymore but I still LOVE telling the story of walking home drunk in heels at 2AM with some guy only to buy Sheetz and climb on top of the Student Center building…still in heels!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nostalgia’s a killer.
I know you believe your life was better before. And it could have been. But don’t forget that during that period you still doubted yourself, you still had stress and anxiety, you still cried. No, I’m not saying to dwell on these bad memories. Trust me, I’m trying my best to forget about all of those terrible situations. But I’m saying, don’t believe you’re not better now.
As someone that is still currently struggling to find my group of friends in a new state, I often think, ‘maybe I should’ve stayed.’ But I can’t stay motionless. I needed the change. I needed to challenge myself with this new adventure. Winchester, VA wasn’t big enough for what I wanted. So don’t let the past stop you from moving forward and definitely don’t let it move you backwards.
Life was never as good as it seemed. And your life will never get as good as it seemed if you sit around moping all day missing it. There is so much to experience in the now. The past is done. Yeah, it’s fun to look back on the memories and laugh about that time you dropped it too low at the club and split your pants. Hilarious. But that is in the past. You cannot change the past but as every mother (I’m a furmom) likes to say, ‘you can only change the future.’ And they are SO RIGHT!
We have so many years ahead of us! Why the hell do we care about what happened in the past? We should start caring about how we’re going to keep the good times rolling!
I know being in quarantine has made the memories bubble up in my mind and never stop like my hot tub is set to 112 (totally did this for a NYE party) and I bet the same is true for a lot of you. Especially with graduation season upon us, who wouldn’t be thinking about the insane post final parties that you were sure to get sloshed at!? But don’t let that stop you. One day we’ll even look back on these days with nostalgia.
So here it is, I’m done living in the past. I will always miss my college days because let’s be real, life was great when my parents still paid my credit card. I’ll always cherish the friendships I made and the lessons I learned. But from now on, I’m living in the present. It’s the only time I have any little bit of control over so I might as well make it count towards something.