Reminders of Change
Change is hard & real – especially in the past few days. Going to Target, or even walking around my hometown, a college town, I am quickly reminded that it is that time of year again – back-to-school season! This morning, I was sitting outside a local bagel shop, eating breakfast & drinking coffee while reading a book. I ended up staying there for about two hours, enjoying the combination of people watching and reading my book at a leisurely pace on a nice day. As I was leaving, after proudly finishing my book, an older gentleman stopped me and asked if I was already ‘hitting the books’ – inferring that I was a college student who had just moved back into town and was already reading before classes started the next week. I kindly explained that I was actually a local and that I had just graduated in May, and we carried on with our days. For some reason, this quick interaction ignited a stark reminder in me, that I am no longer a student. An identity that I have carried for the past 16 years or so, from kindergarten through senior year of college, suddenly no longer applied to me. It’s a weird feeling and one that I honestly have not come to terms with yet. This really abrupt change, amidst a pandemic, has been hard. It has been hard to watch rising college students go back to Penn State and share about how they are reunited with their friends, excited to have fun, attend football games, etc., when it all got stolen from us our senior year. We will never be able to go back and recreate these memories that we missed out on. And although I would never wish to go through another year of college during COVID, I keep finding myself wishing I was back at Penn State for just one more year.