Moving on can be scary, until it's not


Last updated 9/20/2019 at 1:16pm | View PDF

Sometimes in life you just have to move on. For me, this time, it happened suddenly.

In fact, if you had asked me just a month ago if I was excited to go to college, I'd have said something like, "No, it's still only summer. I have all of senior year left. I just am not ready."

The idea of college is a scary thing to a 17-year-old girl whose heart is still set on being a 17-year-old girl and whose mind has told her she still has lots of time to be one. But recently it feels as if things are changing, all starting with the new school year.

I walked into high school my first day of senior year excited to finally be at the top of the chain and thrilled to be back. But then I noticed something. The halls were filled with scared freshman scampering to their locker and so many other faces I could hardly recognize. I noticed that these kids looked at me as if I were different, as if I had been the one who had changed over the summer. My school seemed smaller than it had when I left. All at once, everything felt different.

After visiting colleges over the summer and walking across enormous campuses, looking up at historic buildings and visiting my sister in her southern mansion of a sorority house, I had, without knowing it, started to move on. College had begun to feel like the norm, and high school was the odd one out.

It's a funny thing that the anxiety we feel toward change can go away in an instant. That once it's time for us to face our new reality, we realize we've been ready for it all along. Because the truth is, no matter how much we may want to, we aren't meant to stay the same forever. We aren't supposed to live in the same house, go to the same school or even always be friends with the same people - no matter how wonderful it all was or how much it will be missed.

We are built to take the next step, to attend the university of our dreams and learn about places and things we didn't know existed, to meet people we never imagined we would meet and experience life more on our own terms.

And while I am enthusiastic about my senior year, loving every moment I get to spend with my family or on stage, every laugh shared with my best friend, every "hi" and smile in the halls, I have college on my mind.

So now, if someone asks me if I am excited about it, I'll respond with an enthusiastic "Yes."

Because I am looking forward to the change. And most of all, I am ready for it.

- Katie Hughes of Hinsdale, a senior at Nazareth Academy, is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].


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