Twelve hours ago I finished the two most stressful weeks of my college career. With the kind of flourish that can only be expected running on a night’s sleep that I usually get in a day’s nap (see: unimpressive), I capped off my penultimate semester at Drake.

There are four of us left in the house tonight.
Stragglers.
We get locked out tomorrow at noon; I’ll kill time until my sleepover. Then I guess I’ll go home. Home to my friends and my mom and home-cooked meals. Home to my dog. Home to my queen-sized bed and my chocolate-colored walls and plush carpeting.

If you know me, you know that the last semester has been one for the books. I should be running for the hills. But here I am, dragging my feet in Des Moines and writing about it in the process.

I got quite the education this semester. My ability to write CSS from scratch and apply political theories to natural disasters, however, may or may not pertain to my life after I graduate in five months.
Luckily, I’ve been picking up some other stuff along the way.
I found out exactly (…roughly) what I want to do with my life. Found out that it doesn’t include Chicago, for now. That it does include Des Moines. That it also includes a hobby that makes me feel like I’m 50. I learned how to let myself be vulnerable to people even when I don’t think I need the support. I discovered that, for what feels like the first time, I receive the kind friendship that I think offer to others — that I deserve. That anyone deserves. And I have been pleasantly surprised to find that sometimes, age really is just a number, even if that’s scary and weird for some (for you?) and a little bit scandalous. Sorry, ma. Sorry, Des Moines.

In the last two weeks, I’ve slept too little and eaten too much. Finals does rotten things. The bags under my eyes are bigger than whatever pack job I’ll be able to haphazardly shove into my backseat in the morning. And God knows the scale will punish me for weeks to come.
But tonight, my eyes are shining a little brighter. I’m feeling a little lighter. I like what this semester brought me. 2010 was learning; the new year is for applying it.

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