There is a lot less ramen than I expected…there’s still ramen, just a lot less.
My idea of what I thought college changed a lot based on what I saw and heard as I grew up. I would say my first impressions of college would be the first time I saw Disney’s The Extremely Goofy Movie. I figured I’d be heading out with my best friends, driving away from home, getting involved in a sport, and maybe even a fraternity. In the movie, Goofy ends up following his son Max to college, and I hadn’t even ruled that out at the time. I love mom and dad, but that is not an option anymore. Please visit anytime, however!
Later I had learned from movies and tv to expect lots of parties in college, and crazy friends. That was also inaccurate. Those opportunities exist, but good friends keep you out of those scenarios, and rather, watch Netflix and make food until the late hours of the night. A classy alternative. Coming from a place with no professional sports teams and limited concert options, going to college in the Seattle was a huge eye opener for me. Fellow social squad member, Lauren Diuco and I, are counting down the days till we can watch games at SafeCo Field again or see the recently crowned Sounders take over CenturyLink Field as the MLS Cup Champions. I really didn’t consider these options until I arrived at Saint Martin’s.
Until my teammate in high school signed to run track in college, I hadn’t seen collegiate athletics to be in my future, but I planned to make it a reality, and I did! Another reality that came true in college stems from another Disney movie, Toy Story 3. Mom took that one hard watching Andy go to college, and I always thought it was kind of ridiculous until it actually happened to me. It is crazy hard to say goodbye to your parents, especially when you live far enough away that you’ll only see them a few times a year. You learn how to stay close, and they love updates and pictures, so make sure you do that.
Reality definitely breaks expectations and that is such a great thing. Lessons continue to be taken out of the classrooms, and you learn so much more than what you have on your class schedule. You learn which stereotypes you can break about college students, and create your own experience here at Saint Martin’s. However, I’d be surprised if you don’t accompany a late night of homework with ramen at some point in your four years…
Eleven months and twenty-five days ago, I scrambled to throw my things in to my backpack. Usually, I would be getting the guys together so we could go get lunch at Speedy Subs or The Chowder House, but today was different. Today was a milestone that I would never forget, and one that would decide where my life was going after graduation. That day I sat down at a table in our school’s library, surrounded by family, friends, coaches and staff. Next to me was Jalon McCullough, the school’s star basketball player, and together we both fulfilled our dreams of competing in our sports at the college level by signing our National Letters of Intent.
I would bet that you can remember any of those milestones from your own senior year, or just life in general. Those moments where you thought “This is why I worked. This is why it took all of that time. Just to get to this moment and feel that even for a few seconds, it has all come full circle.” However, these moments do not last forever. I thanked all those who supported me and served as role models. I signed my NLI, hugged my parents, coaches, and friends, and it was over. By making my decision, I finally began seeing myself leaving it all behind. So because I had accomplished what I had set to do in the years before, I now had to give it all up? The “lasts” of my life started becoming milestones too.
Eleven months and twenty-seven days ago, I went to my last prom.
Eleven months and fifteen days ago, we had our last day with our kindergarten buddies (who are now first graders!).
Eleven months and nine days ago, I had my last day as Student Body President and swore in my successor.
Ten months and thirty days ago, I put on my cap and gown, received my diploma, and had my last day at Monroe Catholic High School.
Last. Last. Last. Last.
Seven months and thirty days ago, I had my last day in Fairbanks. Followed by my first flight to Seattle to get to Lacey. Seven months and twenty-nine days ago, I had my first practice with my new Saint Martin’s Saints cross country team.
Seven months and twenty-four days ago, I had my first service project at the Olympia Children’s Museum with all of the first-year students for Incipio, our orientation program.
Six months and twenty-six days ago, I went to the Washington State Fair for the first time.
Five months and fourteen days ago, I had my first article published in the school newspaper.
First. First. First. First.
The saying “when one door closes, another door opens” comes to mind. These doors were going to close and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to go out and find the doors that were opening, and that meant leaving home. If you are about to leave home in a few months, take in your lasts! You earned them! Then know that there are many firsts around the corner… maybe even at Saint Martin’s.