Not the Typical Change in Your Pocket

I’m feeling sentimental this week. This past weekend my old roommates from last year came to visit. When they pulled up to the same house we had all lived in together, it felt as though nothing had changed. It was crazy. I was in the same place in time that I had been last year, with the same people. It was like de ja vu but the event had actually, really taken place. We talked and hung out like we were all still in college and something like seven months hadn’t passed since we had all been in our townhouse together. And while that is all true, the differences were there as well.

Both my old roommates are graduated, which means they are living in the big scary real world. They have jobs that keep them busy. One is planning a wedding, the other about to become boss-man for a local magazine. And I’m still that younger version of a college attendee, working my butt of to make sure I get the grades and graduate on time, ensuring I have a subject for this week’s column, reading an excessive amount for homework, and finding time to spend building friendships here that will hopefully last forever. The strangest thing is how everyone is still strung out, stressed, and moving at a thousand miles an hour, and we aren’t even on the same planet. We are in no way worrying about the same things anymore. They both have grown about ten times more mature and timely than I ever have to even worry about being in college. And it became clear when we all sat around talking that while we were back in the same place, seemingly existing as though no time had passed, everything had changed.

When I look back on my Freshman year, I freak myself out. It is so strange to look at who I am now compared to who I was coming into Longwood. I was so ignorant and my life was very uncomplicated. To look back at the girl compared to who I am now is strange because I can see how much I have grown and changed.

I look at people who I was friends with Freshman year and everyone has become involved and as cheesy as it sounds, lots of them have discovered who they truly are and what their purpose is in life. Now that I am a Junior, the end goal is that much brighter and decision time is over. The commitment has been made and that makes you a bigger person all by itself.

For a long time I took things for granted. It wasn’t a matter of expecting things to always remain as they were, or people to exist in my life forever, it was that I didn’t know any better. The changes in my life were very small and not life shattering in the least. Seasons shifted but most everything remained as it was. This past year when my grandmother passed away and then when a large majority of my closest friends graduated from Longwood, I realized that nothing stays the same and no one is promised a forever with the people they have in their

lives. Change comes in strange ways that mostly go unnoticed because everyone is so caught up doing their long list of things at one hundred miles per hour. But I have started to notice it more and more, and for a long time it made me upset. Why wasn’t everything exactly the same this weekend with my old roommates as it had been last year? Why am I not the same person I was Freshman year? Why can’t people and things remain forever in our lives?

I don’t have an exact answer but I have a reason; we would never appreciate moments or times or people if they all just stayed the same. I know that seems obvious, but to me for a long time it wasn’t. I hated change. Now I understand it.

Today is a very beautiful Fall day. Tomorrow will probably be a pretty day too, but I don’t care because I only have this day and this moment and tomorrow all that may change. I appreciate that it’s seventy degree’s out and I appreciate that I’m still doing what I do every Sunday. Things change and shift, but as long as you learn to appreciate the stuff that comes before it goes, change isn’t really all that painful.