I am currently sitting on the terminal floor of Birmingham airport. I used to find myself here a couple times a year for holidays or doctors visits. This has been one of my longest stretches without flying here.
This past Friday I flew to Alabama to visit for the first time since graduating this past May. Luckily most of my friends were still in Tuscaloosa, so it felt as if I never left. I had wanted to go visit ever since I drove back to Philly and had surgery. Everyday on bed rest I would cross off the days till I could come back. Granted I was excited to just walk again, but I longed for normalcy and my Alabama routine.
If you are not one of the lucky few who gets a job right out of college, you are stuck in what I call “the transitionary phase,” where you are probably living at home, working odd jobs, and unsure where you will be when the new year comes. It may be one of the most terrifying things for any college student. Do not fear, most other people are feeling the effects of this phase.
I always thought I was independent in college. I thought I knew what I was doing and where I was going. It was not until I sat there on bed rest, staring at the ceiling did I finally understand why this phase in life existed. This place of no-man’s land was the reality check I needed.
As an avid planner, I get anxious when I do not have a life plan in order. This meant being on prolonged bed rest and having no job was maybe like being stuck in a maze with no end. Even on the darkest day, time continued to past. The days turned into weeks and then months.
This week was different. I went back to the place that I used to call home. For four years, it was all I knew. My friends were all here as well as my job and schedule. I hardly slept the night before flying out. What would it be like to go back to my second home?
I soon found out that it was no longer my second home. Not just because I no longer had my old apartment, but because the world had continued to move on as I tried holding onto the Alabama I knew almost a year ago. Do not get me wrong, I had an amazing weekend at Alabama. The tailgating, football game and spending time with old friends was great. This time I felt like a stranger on my own campus. I was a tourist, an outsider.
It was the wake up call I needed. To know that college is over, whether I like it or not. I can come back and visit as much as I want, yet the world will continue to move on there. My life will continue to move on. I left with tears in my eyes, not because I longed for that normalcy, but I was finally ready to get out of this transition period and make changes to move forward.
I remember my first week at Alabama. I came to the school not knowing a sole and even considered transferring within my first couple weeks. Maybe it was because of my Northern attitude or the fact that change was hard. If I could make this place home in four years, then I am excited for my future home and what it hold.
With all that being said, I decided you can never turn down an opportunity. I am applying for graduate school, planning to move to LA this January and trying to prepare for some positive changes.
To all my friends at Alabama, thank you for the amazing four years. You all have changed my life and I will always love you. It is time to get out of this transition rut and finally stop holding onto the past. It’s time for the next chapter.
Until next time enjoy this photo of me forever on the Waffle House wall from Bid Day 2013…
Leave a Reply