I was cleaning my room the other day (it’s about time, trust me) and I came upon a box of stuff from high school – which I guess only ended two and a half years ago, but it feel like such a long time ago. I had kept all of my notes, my papers, handouts, quizzes, everything that had anything to do with school. To be honest, this is still a habit of mine. I hate to throw anything away – but I’m trying not to become one of those crazy hoarders you see on TV – but I really hate to get rid of my school stuff.
I held a stack of history notes the size of a novel in my hand and grudgingly placed them in the trash with one final look. It suddenly became clear in that moment why it was so hard for me to part with these messy pieces of paper and why I had kept them all along: school was my whole life.
In high school I had no friends. I had no social life. My family life was dramatic in all the wrong ways. I never went to a single party, I went to the movies with “friends” a grand total of three times in four years, I spent every lunch period in the library alone. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live, except in one category: school. Well, not really school in its entirety, but school-work. School includes all of the lunches spent alone, awkward dances that I attended dateless, failed friendships that I was unable to make happen. School-work was what I was good at: pen to paper, quiet thinking, studying, reading. Still to this day, I’ve never been as good at anything as I am at school-work.
But today my life is so much more complete than it was just three years ago. I have a life outside of the words I write and the exams I take. I still love school, but now I also love spending Friday nights with my roommate at the movies, and Saturday nights in the Pep Band, and Monday nights talking about books with my English club friends. I love my life so much more now than I did then. I hope that with this new-found happiness, letting go of my college school work will be easier, because school isn’t my whole life anymore.