Posted on July 26, 2018
It’s no secret that I took a semester off of college this past spring. I’ve written about it briefly but never really addressed it beyond that. A lot went into making that decision, and I still believe it was the right one for me.
In the time I took off, I was able to clear my head. I finally relieved myself from the stress that had been eating me alive since my junior year of high school. It gave me time to relax and not feel like my GPA was awaiting me in the dark abyss. For anyone else who feels this way, I highly recommend taking a gap year or semester to find yourself and figure out what you want to do.
This fall, I’m returning to school. However, instead of going back to community college in a rural area, I will be going to an urban university with roughly 13,000 undergrads. It’s a bit of a step up from what I’m used to but I’m excited for new experiences and resources that I will have come fall.
As the day draw nearer, I become more worried about adjusting back into the school setting after my time off. I haven’t taken any classes for eight months, so it’s going to be challenging for me to get back into the swing of things. But with the right discipline and friends/family who encourage me, I’m sure I’ll get through it with no problem.
Sometimes I wonder if the stress of preparing for college is worse than the stress I’ll endure during the semester. For me, that might just be the case. I have 22 days until my big move up to my apartment and 32 days until school starts. With so little time left, I’ve been busting my butt trying to get everything I need in time for the big days.
Yesterday my little sister and I went out to get some things for my apartment and it started to finally hit me- I’m moving out and finally doing what I’ve dreamt of since I was young. I know all my old high school friends who went through this last year had the same emotions when they left for their freshman year. I’m just a year behind but better late than never I guess.
Although the return from my semester off is causing a bit more stress for me, I’m definitely super happy that I chose that route back in December. Of course it feels weird being a 20 year old freshman, but it was what had to happen for me to be happy and comfortable. I may be nervous to return to a school lifestyle, but I feel a lot more prepared than I was last spring.
For anyone who feels severely overwhelmed by school, a short break isn’t the end of the world. It’s just a pit stop on the way to where you’re going.
Posted on May 14, 2018
This past weekend, I “went back to high school” and attended one last prom with my boyfriend. It was an amazing night, and definitely one that I’ll remember.
Now, before I hear all the negativity about how “people who graduated high school should stay out of high school”, let me just clarify something- my boyfriend is a senior, and he asked me to go. At first, I almost refused to go because I wanted to stay clear of high school events (other than sporting events because I had to cheer my man on). But after a lot of thinking, I realized that it was his last prom and he asked me to come because I’m his girlfriend and he wanted the night to be special. So, I decided that one more prom wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Something different about this year was that I didn’t mind how I looked. Previous years, I was so stressed about my dress, heels, makeup, and hair that I made prom almost unenjoyable. This year, I didn’t think it mattered. I just put whatever makeup on that I felt the most comfortable in, wore some old heels of my sisters, and was on my way. As long as I was comfortable and able to have fun, I was ready to go.
My boyfriend picked me up and dang was he looking good. Last year we rode together along with another mutual friend, and when we looked back at it this year, it was so crazy thinking about how much things had changed. This year, I was riding shotgun with his hand in mine- a much different experience than last year. Before, I was in the backseat and the only thing in my hand was my phone that was also the designated “aux phone.”
We took some pictures with his classmates, as well as other returning students from my graduating class- my cousin being one of them. Everyone looked amazing! They were also so friendly towards me, which I did not expect. I never had any negative feelings towards returning grads coming to prom while I was in high school, but I didn’t know how others felt about it. Seeing people happy to see me calmed a lot of my pre-prom jitters.
Once we arrived at the venue, I almost forgot how nervous I was before. I don’t want to say that I felt like I was back in high school because I was self aware and didn’t do anything to jeopardize my comfort and warm welcome. However, I did not feel too out of place, and I wasn’t as self conscious as I had expected myself to be. Honestly, I think that knowing I wouldn’t see a lot of those people again made me feel more comfortable and ultimately gave me the courage to go out and dance with my friends.
The music wasn’t too terrible at points, and the great company on the dance floor helped make the bad songs a little less excruciating. We danced for hours and only took a few short breaks to take a quick sip before heading back out to dance like idiots again. Overall, prom wasn’t so bad.
After the dance was nearly over, Zach and I went with a couple friends from our table to the Wendy’s drive thru. I had been craving it all night and I was fairly vocal about it. We wanted to hang out together, but at 11 at night, not much is open and easily accessible for girls in gowns. So after thinking long and hard about the next move, we decided to part ways and go home to sleep.
Zach and I went back to my house so I could get out of the unbearably itchy dress I had forced myself into earlier. That’s when he gave me a surprise gift that meant the world to me. He handed me a book. On the inside it said “Why I Love You,” and contained pages full of pictures and (you guessed it) reasons he loved me. He had told me before I saw it that it was not perfect, but he was dead wrong. I had never received anything so beautiful before. Just thinking about it makes my heart melt all over again.
We finished the night with a nap and the remainder of the Wendy’s that we had brought home. Zach eventually went back to his house at around 2:30 a.m., and thus concluded our night.
Playing dress up can be fun for sure, but getting to do it along side the man you love makes it even more special. I’m grateful that Zach brought me back for one last dance. He made my last prom even better than the one I originally thought would be my last.