race to the future

Graduation feels like I'm running towards a finish line I'm not ready for, said Vidette Features Editor Andrea Ricker. 

I feel like I’m chasing something, but before I can reach the goal I’m being pulled out of the race.

Ever since April began I’ve had this big sinking feeling. I only have a month left of my college career. I have one more month before this chapter of my life ends.

I should be excited, but I’m being crushed by the weight of all the things I need to accomplish before I graduate.

Why does life have to move so fast? I should be excited to never have to sit in a lecture or write a paper ever again. I should be looking forward to moving out and getting a job and meeting new people. But instead I’m just dreading it.

I keep putting off looking for a job because I feel like I’m in denial. We wait our whole lives to be done with school and now in the blink of an eye I almost am. So, what happens next?

The next few weeks are going to be filled with my lasts. My last circus practice, my last TV10 newscast and my last production day at The Vidette. And I don’t feel ready.

I’m a very emotional and sentimental person and I know I’ll be crying a lot leading up to May. And while I’m going to have to have my last time doing the things I love, I know these next few weeks will also be filled with great moments.

I get to graduate. Even if it’s not in the traditional way, I’ll get to walk across the stage and get my diploma. I’ll get to go to end of the year events and see my friends. That’s something that I didn’t know would be able to happen going into this year, and I’m grateful I can have these celebrations.

Looking back to freshman year Andrea I wonder if she’d be proud of me or disappointed. I always set goals for myself that I just think are way too big for anyone to achieve. Sometimes I feel a lot of regret when I look back at the past four years. I should’ve talked to more people, joined more clubs, worked harder in classes and more. I had such a clear image of who I wanted to be in college and such high expectations for myself.

While freshman year Andrea might think I haven’t done enough, current Andrea is proud of myself. Because I’ve grown over the past four years. Plus, the only me that matters is the one that’s right here right now, because freshman year me doesn’t exist anymore.

Even if the path I took is different than I wanted it to be, and even if I didn’t do as much stuff as I had hoped, I’m so thankful for everything I’ve done because it’s led me to amazing things. Everything happens for a reason and all my decisions during college have given me my best friends that have become a second family.

I’m so comfortable with how life is right now that it’s going to be so weird when that changes. But it has to happen eventually, that’s how growing up works.

Graduation is scary. It’s like this exciting but daunting thing that’s looming over me. I don’t know if I’m ready for it, but I’m trying to accept it nonetheless.

ANDREA RICKER is Features Editor The Vidette. She can be contacted at arricke@ilstu.edu Follower Ricker on Twitter at @ricker_andrea    

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