Almost exactly one month ago, I was finishing my last question on my Introduction to Sustainability final. I quickly checked my answers, gathered my belongings, and rushed to the front of the room to turn in the last piece of paper of my freshman year. Immediately after, I walked back to my dorm and started to strip down my dorm of all the personality I spread across its walls. As colors started to drip off of the wall and bed and gather in boxes and suitcases, the room stood barren and stoic. My own room became a solemn stranger, and its foreign air took me back to when I first opened its door with anxious hesitation on August 27th, 2016. If I let my mind go blank, I could almost pretend that the year had never happened. I could pretend that none of the colors ever were splashed against the walls in photos and paintings, that none of the papers were ever scattered against the desk begging to be attended to, that none of the laughter and voices, hard times and wonderful moments had ever crossed this room and stained the air with memories.
When something comes to an end, I often have this overwhelming feeling that it felt so short, yet contained so much. When I thought back to the first day of freshman year, wrought with anxiety and excitement, it felt like yesterday. But when I thought of how much occurred, how many moments and memories were shoved between that first day and the last day, it felt like an eternity.
In this 9 month eternity, I have gained knowledge, experience, and an overall better understanding of the world I live in and my role in it. I have made friends who have shown me what true friendship is, who have taught me the difference between having friends for the sake of convenience and having friends who genuinely care about your wellbeing and happiness. I have learned how to get through tough times and still manage to hold my head up high, how to “fake it till you make it” and remember that everything works out in the end. I have learned things that simply cannot be taught, that no lecture hall could contain and no professor could explain. And I am forever grateful for this 9 month eternity.
One month later, I am sitting at my desk in my Bryn Mawr, PA home, texting my Hopkins friend Francesca about planning a trip on July 4th back to Baltimore, to spend a day hanging out with friends back on campus. If you had asked me 9 months ago what I saw myself doing on July 4th, I would never have guessed that I’d want to go back to my school when I could spend time celebrating at home. This summer, I’m going to be a camp counselor for 10-year-olds, and I can only imagine what they’d think if I told them that I miss a place where I learn this much. “Learning is gross!!” “School is icky!!!!” But maybe, they’d understand if I told them that my best friends are there, and everyone is so passionate and kind, and I am able to explore my world both physically and mentally every day (or maybe I should just go with the “you can eat all the candy you want!!!” route).
One month later, and it feels like my last day at Hopkins was yesterday, yet it also feels like it was forever ago. I can only hope that two months from now, when I’m moving into my new apartment and coating the bare room with personality and color, that today will feel like it was yesterday, yet my summer will have contained so much.