Last-First-Day of School Eve

I’m a huge fan of goals and lists and sentimental things, which I think is why I loved my senior year of high school so much — I got to be as sentimental and sappy as I wanted to be without too much judgement. But this senior year is different. Sure, it’s probably just about as exciting as the senior-in-high school about to embark on the last academic year where you live at home and are surrounded by the people you grew up with… but on the eve of my last-first-day of school, I can’t help but sit at our kitchen table in a panic.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t bought any of the school supplies I need (not much — just a couple notebooks, probably a folder or two), but that shouldn’t worry me anyway, since my first official class isn’t until Wednesday. I doubt I’d feel any less ready if I had those couple notebooks and folders, because that doesn’t have anything to do with the real reason I’m freaking out.

Thinking about what could happen in the next year, and how that can set up the rest of my life for whatever is in store is absolutely terrifying. As I’ve learned my past three years at Columbia, a lot can happen in an academic year. There’s no telling where I’ll end up or what I’ll actually be wanting to do and aiming for come the time I walk across the stage, signifying my completion of a Bachelor’s Degree. Hopefully there’ll be some job in sights, or at least a direction that I think I might be able to go in. Who even knows — not me, that’s for sure. And that’s what’s terrifying.

Even though school hasn’t started yet, I’ve already been hit with questions of what’s coming up next. Maybe it’s because for some reason people think I have my life together, but in reality, the only things I’m really sure of are that I plan to march my age-out with Spirit of Atlanta, I’m determined to graduate in the Spring with Honors, and that I really don’t know what’s coming up after that.

So, now that that’s out of the way, I’m writing this as a reference point. Sure, I’m freaking out about the spring, but I’m also ready to be done with class. I’m ready to be done with deadlines that are graded and a score is slapped onto it before I’m sure it’s actually my best work. I’m excited at the idea of having one job to focus on and pour my energy into. And even though it’s terrifying, it’s also crazy exciting that I could be moving to a new city in the next year or so.

It’s a melting pot of emotions, but I’m just as excited as I am terrified of all the shenanigans I’m sure will ensue. Who knows — maybe I’ll end up on a surprise trip abroad, or get to spend more time down south with people who mean the world to me, or another dream will come true that I’ve close to given up on.

But there’s a flip side to the “who knows” — as terrifying as it is that it’s kind of unknown, it’s just as exciting . Another year at school, another year of possibilities and learning experiences and rushing to meet deadlines and packing my schedule as tight as possible. So here’s to the last year at Columbia. Semester seven. Here we go. Stay with us.

Featured photo: November 2012, first visit to Columbia.

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota, Interdisciplinary major in Radio and Business & Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago. Enjoys long runs on the lakefront path at dawn, public radio, and lefse covered in butter w/ cinnamon sugar. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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