When I was a little girl, I had a huge imagination, and as much as I’d like to think I still do, as probably everyone does, it really never compares to when you’re a kid and everything seems so magical. But this imagination made everything seem so exciting to me. Every time my family planned to go somewhere, whether it be a weekend at York Beach, a visit to my grandparents’ house in Cape Cod, or anywhere not home for that matter, I would get so invested in it. All the possibilities trips like these could bring would play out in my head and I would lay awake the night before, unable to sleep because I was too excited for the morning to come. The same would go for birthday parties and any special events – each and every time, all I would think about was that event l The time we went on vacation to Florida I was practically keeling over with excitement the week before we left.
But with time, experience, and just simply getting older, the magic of those ages faded. I still get just as excited for everything. . . except the only difference is that I’m not as naive as I used to be. Nothing seems real until it’s actually happening. It’s made me more into a “live in the moment” kind of person, for sure. Along with the excitement for any trip would come that fear that for some reason it would not come to be. No expectations = No disappointments.
This attitude I’ve made for myself has another side effect, however. I noticed it for the first time when I went to Spain last year. I found myself constantly reminding myself, You’re finally actually here. A whole new place, a whole new adventure; sometimes this can just be hard to fathom. Me and another girl would always ask each other the same, basic question:
Has it hit you yet?
As in, has the fact that you are somewhere totally new, doing and seeing and experiencing things you would never have thought possible hardly a week ago, set in yet? Has it hit you yet?
So now, in the present, I’m asking myself the same question. I am finally at college, here in The South, at the University of Alabama. It’s been a little over a week since I waved goodbye to my parents and sisters and prepared for the absolute freedom and independence that would come and which I now have. Classes have not even started yet, and I’ve met more people than I can remember, partied and stayed out late more than I should have, and I’ve had so much fun doing it all.
So has it hit me yet? As I sit here in my dorm, watching the sun set behind some thunderstorm clouds out the window, contemplating how much I’ve immersed myself in the college experience in just a week, and while I’m writing this post, I think I know the answer.
There is no “yes or no” answer to the question. I’ve enjoyed myself this week far more than I probably did on that family vacation to Florida ten years ago. And it’s all made me realize that this is just one fantastic journey. This is life. There is no grand moment of epiphany when you reach a new place or experience something new – it all just blends together. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less amazing.
I’m here. I’m finally in college, what I’ve been waiting for the past two years. I’m going with it; I’m having a blast. I’m ridiculously happy. And that’s all that matters right now.