by hera

I just walked around my college apartment and realized that I had most of my lights on. It was weird because before I turned off the light to my room, it felt like the space is a lot bigger than I remember. This weird feeling is something that I have felt before. However, it’s more of an emotional emptiness, rather than my apartment magically increasing in size after a trip to a friend’s house. A few years ago I felt the same exact thing as mom and I packed our entire house after dad died. I don’t even think there was a transition, or maybe the transition was just spread out in such a long amount of time that it didn’t feel like anything was changing until it hit me at the last minute. I just remember that it was a week before we were set to leave for our trip to the Philippines. Our life was being packed into boxes (again), then all of a sudden I got the weird feeling. My house felt so empty despite the boxes that surrounded me. Now that I look back at it, it wasn’t really the house that felt empty; it was me, my chest felt hollow.

Now that I’m almost 21 years old and almost done with college, I feel the same way that I did around three years ago. The fact that my friends are leaving and there won’t be anyone to come over to make the place more lively gives me this empty feeling. We’re all transitioning into adulthood, moving onto the next stages of our lives, and we all know it’s not going to be the same after this. We won’t be at such a close distance from each other. We’ll be unable to go on spontaneous trips whenever we’re procrastinating, or just to spend time with one another outside of this crappy town. We joke that this is the end of our friendship, but there’s some truth to it. We will never be in such close proximity again after this moment, unless we make the time for it.

It’s hard to imagine how things will go from here and how our relationships will change, but I’m still grateful for having these people in my life. I honestly never thought I’d make such close relationships in college. After dad died, I made a pact to myself that I would try my best not to get attached because everyone leaves at one time or another. I was going through college only making acquaintances, but last year I did make friends… real friends. Friends who I felt comfortable enough to confide in. It feels weird and a little bit sad right now, making friends not something I regret. My friends made college feel more like home; it felt like I had a family. Although my friends leaving also leave a hole in my chest, they were able to fill the larger, pre-existing hole. I definitely have an optimistic view of the world again.