A few weeks ago, after seeing Kristin Cavallari as a guest judge on Project Runway and reminiscing over Laguna Beach with my roommate, I decided to rewatch the classic reality show that conceived The Hills, a favorite of mine. I could go on about all the things I love about Laguna, but watching the cast graduate from high school and feel all these new feelings about where life is taking them really hit me. But I’m not nostalgic for high school; it’s the fact that college is almost over.
I remember the emotions that came with graduating high school. I was leaving my friends, family and the comfort of my home to go to college and I had no idea what would happen next. Would I like Hofstra? Would I make friends? Would I like my roommates? I was so excited to leave but also so scared of the unknown. Long story short, I ended up meeting some of the greatest people and have made everlasting bonds with them. I learned so much about the world, the industry I’m pursuing and life in general. These four years have been the best time of my life thus far, and because it has been a much better time than high school ever was, all the feelings I felt when I graduated are multiple by 10, which is why all the graduation and life talk on Laguna has made me so emotional. Who thought Laguna Beach could bring tears to my eyes? I think that I am so much more emotional and nervous because this time around, the next chapter of my life is not going to be within the safety net of school and young adulthood. I have never known a change like this.
In two short weeks I will have finished the last classes of my college career, stressed myself out beyond belief over the last finals I’ll ever take and then I will walk across that stage and shake hands with the man to whom I just paid a gross amount of money. When I leave my dorm room, it will be for the last time. Though I’m sure that the friendships I have made will be forever, it will never be the same. I won’t come home to my best friends in one dorm suite, we won’t be able to walk a short distance to night life where all our other friends are waiting, I won’t be able to walk to the dining hall to get all my food made for me. It is going to be different; it might be better and it might be worse, at least for a little while.
I have no idea what the next step is. I have a job interview this week but so far, nothing is set in stone. Will I live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, California? Will I make minimum wage or a decent salary? If I don’t get my dream job right out of the gate, am I ok with that? I feel like Rory Gilmore when she got her rejection letter from The New York Times. Like nothing made sense.
It is so easy to build up expectations that are simply unattainable in the amount of time we’ve given ourselves. It is also really easy, with the help of social media, to compare our journeys to everyone else’s. Out of anything we do, this might be the most toxic. In journalism school I have met people with amazing talent in every aspect of the business: anchors, producers, hard news writers, feature writers, the list goes on. Sometimes I see the great opportunities they’re getting or the talent that they have and I get jealous or envious. I always have to stop and realize that I have talent too! I got here because I have drive, passion and can write you a hell of an article on a short deadline. Nonetheless, it is all too easy to wish your path was being forged like someone else’s.
Life has always been go to middle school and high school so you can go to college and go to college so you can have a good life. It has always been going through the motions to get to the end goal: life/career. But I didn’t know that college was going to be such an important time for me, something that I would be so sad to leave and yet feel so excited for what possibilities might be waiting for me next.
I cannot stop time, which is both unfortunate and fortunate.