As I type this, I am curled up on my couch with a hot mug of apple cider, watching bad Christmas movies with my mom, while Dad sassily chimes in every once in awhile about how these movies are really, really poor quality (that’s why we watch them). It’s so good to be home. (A little refresher: I graduated this month from college and moved back home.)
I remember freshman year of college when everything was a first: first midterm exam, first dinner downtown, first time living with roommates.
The last two weeks have been a surreal blur of lasts: the last time studying with my friends in my tiny apartment, the last trip to my favorite Philly coffee shop, the last memorable college night out, and about a million others.
Ironically, some of my lasts were also my firsts. My 21st birthday was 5 days before I left Philadelphia, and so I spent those last few days doing very little studying, preferring cocktails to corporate finance (obviously). My first few legal college nights out were also my last times out with my college friends. It all felt very strange.
As if the idea of graduating from college before my friends and leaving one of my favorite cities wasn’t overwhelming enough, my friends made me a big squishy marshmallow of positive emotion by giving me the best 21st birthday/going-away week. Yes, almost a week. My friends took me out even when they had exams the next morning, showered me with wonderful gifts, and threw me a surprise going-away party. They even wrote me letters to read on the plane, which I’ve read about 15 times. I am so lucky!
I joked with my friends that it would have been so much easier to leave had they been total jerks to me the few days before I left. Their outpouring of love made it about 100x harder, but at the same time made me indescribably grateful for my time at Penn. For any of said friends reading this, I love you guys. (Probably too much. Am I smothering you with my love? I don’t care. Sorry.)
Now that I’m home, I’m starting to process what it means to have all of those lasts be lasts. I think once everyone goes back to school in January and I’m still home, it will hit me. (I am hoping for the best but preparing for a Ben & Jerry’s + wine + sappy movie kind of sadness.) Right now, though, I’m processing it okay.
On top of all of the Penn lasts, I’m experiencing a lot of lasts at home, too. Because I’m getting married this coming summer, this is the last holiday I’ll spend as a single person with my family. Next Christmas, Brandon and I will be balancing time between our families. This is also the last time I’ll live at home.
While all of these lasts have been pretty overwhelming, I’m getting more and more excited about the firsts. With the last semester of college ending comes the first real job, the first substantial paycheck, and the first time never having to think about exams. With the last “single” Christmas came a joint-family Christmas Day celebration with Brandon’s family and my own. When I stop living at home, I’ll be moving in with my best friend in the whole world. The firsts look pretty good!
I can’t tell if it’s the cookie-induced food coma or if I’m just feeling holiday spirited, but while it’s been a hard last few weeks of goodbyes and never-agains, I’m looking forward to all the firsts (and lasts) coming in 2016.
For anyone who thought this sounded much more like a New Years’ post than a Christmas post, I’m sorry. I’m always early for everything!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are gearing up for a stellar new year!
What “firsts” are you expecting to have in 2016?