Four years ago, I was trying to figure out which college I wanted to go to. As soon as I walked around APU, I knew I was home. I belonged here. I loved the semi-modern bright west campus, and the more quaint east campus with all its trees. I loved the trolleys (I thought they were so cool). I loved the friendly people who always smile and say hi when you pass by. I didn’t know what to expect, but college ended up being the place where I have grown and changed the most.
I met my closest friends here during my first week when I was alone eating lunch in my room. I had baked cookies and decided to go door to door offering them in my hall. Then I came upon Bre and Rachel’s door (but Rachel wasn’t there). Bre was eating lunch alone in her room, and I thought to myself, “I was just doing that! Me and this girl should be friends.” So, I basically lived with Bre and Rachel my freshman year, and then officially my sophomore year. We added two more, Kat and Janna for our last two years of college.
I spent my first year of college loving APU, but missing my high school friends like crazy. I was so much closer to them than my college friends. But then, by my second year, I discovered more about my roommates and got closer to them. They were so different from me in so many ways, especially culturally. The three of us didn’t look the same, talk the same, nor like many of the same things. Yet, we all ended up gradually sharing the same phrases and hand gestures, and having all the same inside jokes. They didn’t compare to my high school friends yet, but they were growing on me.
I spent the first semester of my junior year abroad in Rome, and travelling Europe. It was phenomenal, and I learned and saw so much. But I didn’t have my friends and I wished so much that they could be with me. I made new ones of course. No one will ever understand Roma like they do. When I came back to APU, I had two new roommates and we were crowded. That was also the year I decided to be bold. Travelling had that effect on me. I wanted to be fearless, carefree, and spontaneous (many of which I’m not naturally). Thus began my year of mistakes, but by no means regrets. It was the year I started learning that I can’t judge people because I’m capable of just as much as anyone else, my downfalls and my accomplishments.
My wannabe-bold-attitude continued to my senior year, the year I did everything I should’ve been doing all of college. We crammed so much into every weekend, every month. We wanted to do it all, because we knew it would soon be over and our lives would be so different. My senior year, the year I have grown the most in my entire life; the year I got so much closer to my roommates and understood them so much more; the year my past crept up on me in the form of a creative nonfiction writing class; the year I’ve been learning to “Let it go” because I’m so good at holding on; the year I made me so many more mistakes, but my friends were right there either supporting me or making them with me; the year I sought out my parent’s help more than ever; the year I took risks with my writing; the year I had an emotional breakdown; the year everything became overwhelming and real; this year that is ending, over basically. I don’t know if it’s been the best year of my life, but it’s the year I am the most thankful for in my life.
I will miss this year and the previous three. I will miss my professors who were so involved in me as a student and an individual. I will miss coming home to a messy apartment crowded with girls because there is always someone to talk to or listen to. I will miss all the fish we’ve had, because that’s all we were allowed to have and we couldn’t keep them alive. I will miss a lot of things, but mostly, I will miss my roommates. Because though we can still keep in contact, we aren’t going to live together anymore, after we’ve just spent four years as APUians say “doing life together.” It’s weird that it’s all over.
I hope that I don’t have to miss my partner in crime, Bre. Whenever we went anywhere, she would always tell me, “You could meet the love of your life today,” but she was the love of my life, and I was hers.
I, like many other college students, am scared of what’s to come, terrified of my potential to fail or succeed, and so excited of what may lie ahead. I have been so blessed, and I thank God for everything, every single moment and person He has given me.
I’m not the high school student I was four years ago who was timid, yet excited for college. I’m the twenty-something year old who is more bold now and has no idea what I’m doing with my life, but at the same time know I’m headed somewhere, hopefully somewhere I love. It’s scary, emotional, exciting, and I guess every college student must go through it. So, here is my goodbye to APU. Thank you for the growth and the experiences and every moment in between.