College was hard. It was emotionally hard: from my parents dropping me off at my dorm in Hill House to the growing pains of learning to live with others (sharing a bathroom!) to professors who didn't like me (for whatever reason: being Greek, being too talkative, being me, not liking them- whatever). Emotionally hard, because moving so many times is physically exhausting and takes its toll (moving is hard!) And then an emotionally hard that sneaks up on you: attending your last initiation as a collegiate member, or senior send off. Some of the hardest is the heartbreak from whoever. The emotional strain that comes with math and science classes, or that really scary final-
College was physically hard. Getting up, and getting out in -20 degree weather is tough. Stomping through snow from east bank to west. Carrying boxes up big flights of stairs at Hill House, in South Minneapolis, at University Commons, and finally, AOII. Trying to make times for exercise when you are exhausted. Getting up hung over and still going to work or school, because it's what you do- but it was worth it! Scraping your feet while in heels out or having your tootsies stepped on at formals.
College was spiritually hard. What a beautiful world our homes are as children where our parents work to prepare us to follow in their footsteps. College is another ballpark with God. Sometimes you can't hear him, sometimes his voice is strong. I leaned on friends and family for guidance. I lost my way, I came back. It's the reality. Never getting all the answers, but wanting them, and realizing that is how life is spiritually is a wake up call.
College was academically hard. Can I get an amen? It's not the homework or the papers, it's simply being there. Making an impression. That damn group work that drives us all nuts. The boys who want you to take notes for them, write their papers, or send you copies of your final (yes it happened). The people who don't show, the late night study nights, and the uncertainty of where you stand.
So yes, college was hard. But for the most part, college was good.
College was rich with friendships. Words cannot express the love I feel for my friends met here. This was certainly meant to be my path. AOII was my home (a piece of my heart is still there). We are talking good friends here. Friends who pick you up from class, walk with you to class, get McDonald's ice cream with you, listen to you cry, watch kids movies with you, lend you their OPI top coat, sit with you when you wake up in the morning to rehash the last night. Friends who love you so much they live with you after college, and work where you work (coughkatecough). Friends who cannot get enough. Enough laughing, insides jokes, boy stories, and good beauty advice. Friends you can take places!
College was rich with dating. Despite my one "dry" year, there really were boys abound. Boys who taught me that men are for the most part, good people who just don't know how to act at times. Boys were were funny. Boys who were scared. Boys wounded from their high school love, boys who won me over with their humor and strange sense of fashion. Some of my best friends in school were boys. My little and big bro (whom I never dated) ARE like brothers to me. But back to the dating. It was good. it was bad. it was fun. it was stupid, and I learned from it all.
College was rich with life lessons. Like getting up, showing up, and being early. Like smiling, and having good manners, even to rude people. Like forgiving your friends and sometimes professors. Like you really can eat carbs for all three meals, and it will not really show (yet!) Like AOII yoga pants are totally fine to wear 7 days a week. That taking care of kids is the best job, who else has that much energy to keep up with a two year old? That I am really lucky and have it made (at least to me!)
So on May 17th at 3pm I walked to Coffman one last time as a student. I met up with my sisters and we walked towards Northrup. There were sat in a row together and watched other students graduate. Eventually it was our row's turn. We went up together, and cheered as the announcer named all of us. I love that we were together, even at "the end."
And as I close this book on the last childhood chapter of my life, I can safetly say that I experienced all there was, and loved as hard as I could. Cheers, and pass me a glass of champagn.