May 28, 2011

It’s an interesting feeling, graduation. By the time the school year was coming to a close, I was so ready to go home. I needed a space to myself, a space away from loud, drunken residents and the knowledge that a knock at my door might mean two hours of dealing with police and sending someone to the hospital. I wanted to re-connect with my past, my friends from home. I thought it would have been one of the greatest feelings in the world to be done.

But now that I’m home, I feel trapped somehow in a bubble of time. I sit in my room and feel like someone else lived here once, someone younger and more naive than I. I long to see friends yet somehow I’m not sure that they’ll recognize the person I’ve become. It’s not bad, just…strange. Foreign. And I miss my Berkeley pals because they know me as I am, they’ve been by my side through all of the strange and wonderful (and terrible) things that have happened these last four years.

Graduation itself was strange, at that. A final hurrah with Chemistry colleagues with whom I hadn’t taken classes with the whole semester. Getting ready for the next chapter in their lives, same as me, yet I’m deviating in a direction none of them expected. Funny when I tell people what I’m going to graduate school for – student affairs – I’ve tailored my explanation well after the number of confused questions I get regarding the field.

I wonder what I’ll be like two years from now, getting my Master’s degree, foraging into a new field. I wonder what friends I will have made, which I’ll have lost, what person I’ll remember when I come back to this room in a place sometimes home but sometimes not. I wonder what I’ll miss, knowing I can’t go back but still wondering.

Whatever happens, I know I will have grown. And the changes that I make, for better or worse, will make me a bit newer and a bit older.

But still, in the end, I’m the same little girl who grew up here. I’m the same teenager making mistakes and trying to fit in. I’m the same book nerd and Sailor Moon fan.

Just a little bit newer and a little bit older.