Contrary to my own belief, I did not cry hysterically at graduation. I really thought I would. I even packed a stack of tissues in my purse. Yes, I definitely cried when it was announced that I had won the Bryson Award (and two months later, I’m still in shock) at the Barnard Commencement. But I was trying my damn hardest to hold back my sobs because there were cameras flashing everywhere.

After the ceremony ended, everyone scattered away all too quickly, and there wasn’t a complete closure to the ceremony, the day, or the past four years. And after a night of celebration, we had to pack up the four years (and get out of the dorms by noon the next day) and move onto the next stage of our lives. Everyone thought I was insane I was starting my internship-turned-into-a-job position the very next day, but to be quite honest, I think that was the one thing that was holding me together. The familiarity, the only aspect of my life that was remaining the same. And if it wasn’t for that, I’d had the time to think about what had happened to me the weeks prior – having emergency surgery, somehow finishing all my final papers, and miraculously attending all the senior events and graduation-related ceremonies – and that would’ve been just too much.

But since I only have four more days at this job, I’m beginning to feel all the feels, and it’s overwhelming and scary. It’s incredible to think the one 15 hours/week internship had a HUGE impact to my senior year of college my life. It was the first writing internship I ever had, and swear to god, if it wasn’t for the internship, I don’t know if I’d had the guts to apply to journalism school. So you can imagine how much it pains for to leave such an incredible place. It’s so hard to say goodbye to people and things that have been so good to you.

And I have the tendency to pile up all of my emotions like Jenga, and it’s always that one block that makes it all come crumbling down.

As cliche as this sounds, college was really the best four years of my life (and to be real, it’s the thing I’ve been striving/working toward since middle school. #GrowingUpAsian). Sure, I had excruciating growing pains, heartbreaks, and one too many existential crises, but the amazing people I befriended, the strength and resilience I developed, and the life-changing experience definitely made up for the bad times. And I miss it all. I miss the place, the people, the experience.

I think I have been subconsciously reassured by the fact that I’m returning to Columbia for my journalism program in August. I’m totally aware that it’s going to be an entirely different experience than undergrad was. But I’m just realizing now how true that is. It’s definitely not going to be the same, and will have a shitload of unfamiliarities. I feel like this summer has been a prolonged closure to college. And I’m becoming aware of that nothing gold can stay. All of these changes are happening way too quickly. And once again, I find comfort in familiarities. 

But I guess life is a continuous cycle of new endings and new beginnings, and sometimes you just have to allow yourself to feel in the midst of it all.

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