Walking through the corridors of my school for the last time, I am overwhelmed with nostalgia and the bittersweet feeling that accompanies any ending. I realise that lately, I have been living moments of my life as if they are already memories, filing them away for the future because I know that I won’t get to experience them again.
I feel like a glass of water, filled to the brim, my emotions a second away from splashing out.
My childhood is ending; it’s time for me to leave the nest and fly on my own and I can’t get myself to believe it. I am a bundle of entangled emotions. Nostalgia, sorrow, and apprehension co-exist with waves of excitement and nervousness; as a chapter of my life is reaching its last lines, the next one is just about to begin. Going to college was always an idea looming far on the horizon, distant and dreamlike; but now it’s actually time to leave and that reality has hit me like a punch to the gut- leaving me winded and unsteady.
“I am made of memories.”Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles
Pangs of nostalgia hit as a rush of memories wash over me and I find myself reminiscing at random moments of the day. I look at my family and memories of us laughing together run through my mind like a movie. I wonder how I will ever leave the three people closest to me and the safe, protected environment I’ve grown up in to go to a whole new city. I think about how I will survive living alone, without my mom, my best friend in the world, to help me out with every little thing throughout the day; without having my dad right next to me to hold my hand and guide me at every step; without having my sister in the same room as me, us talking in our own language no one else understands. The three of them- my mom, dad and little sister- will always hold a key to my heart, no matter where we are.
I talk to my best friends and I realise that soon, we will all go our separate ways onto separate lives. More than six years of seeing each other in school every single day will turn into group calls every now and then, as we watch each others’ lives in pictures like we watched each other grow up together.
Nostalgia tinges all of our memories together now: all of our inside jokes and code names; us goofing around in class together; passing notes and almost getting caught; all of us laughing at the stupidest things until our stomachs hurt; them annoying me in ways only they could; switching between the most idiotic topics to really deep, philosophical ones in the span of minutes; and just being happy in each other’s company, without a care in the world.
Even though I will make new friends in college and in life ahead, I know deep in my heart that I will never forget my best friends, who have watched me go through all of my cringey, ugly phases and have still stuck by my side all these years, as I have done with them. No matter how much time passes without us meeting or talking, a piece of them will always stay with me and I will look back on our memories fondly.
It is indeed a scary and often daunting prospect to leave all that is familiar and comfortable; to jump into a new life, a new place, surrounded by new people. The endless possibilities are nerve-wracking, exciting, and liberating at the same time.
The training wheels are finally coming off my bicycle and for the first time in my life, I will be standing on my own two feet. Soon, I will be trying to find my way through this world as an independent adult and that prospect is equal parts nerve-wracking and exciting. But I, and the people closest to me, believe that I will make my own way in the world and overcome all the challenges life throws at me.
I’m immensely grateful for everything and everyone that have made my life so far the best it can be, and I cannot wait to see where this next chapter of my life takes me!