By Jaci Schneider, Copy Editor
Much Ado About Something
Almost four years ago I left my home in Oregon to attend a college I’d never visited in a state I’d never been to.
When I arrived in Abilene late one August night four years ago, all I wanted to do was turn around and drive the three days back to Central Point. I saw the bright lights from the college as my parents tried to find our hotel, but sat quietly in the back, not wanting to point out my new home, as if acknowledging the buildings would make the inevitable transition to a new life more real.
Now, four years later, I feel like I’m still sitting in the back of my parents’ car, but this time I’m crowded in there with my four beautiful roommates, my amazing coworkers and all the friends who have shaped me to be who I am.
We’re driving down a dark road, and all of us can see the lights of graduation looming ahead, but as they draw near, we distract each other from seeing what we all know is coming.
Every once in a while, we catch a glimpse of the lights and see hope and joy in the glow of the future, but then we look around the backseat and re-realize all we’ll be leaving behind.
We all know things will be OK in the end; people who are older and wiser have told us so. We’re all confident we will make new friends, we will find jobs and we will be able to leave college behind. But for now, we just want to crowd together in that backseat, enjoy the time we have left and cement the memories that have drawn us all together.
On May 13, we’ll finally arrive at the lights in the distance. We’ll climb out of the car, share giant bear hugs and go our separate ways, each of us realizing we are not the same person we were when we first climbed in as freshmen.
Although we will soon be spread out across the globe, we have traveled together, and we know each other’s journeys.
Soon this will all be an anecdote to tell our new friends, who will probably tire of hearing the same stories and the same names repeated over and over again. But we will know the importance of the stories and the people. We know that the past four years have shaped us into people we never could have imagined such a short time ago.
And as we look ahead to the next transition, we are now in the driver’s seat and can gaze with confidence into the glow of the future, glad we spent four years growing in Abilene and maybe, finally ready to leave.