Fun fact: I’ve actually spent more time living at Augustana than I have living in my current home in Minnesota. Just before I graduated from high school my mother, brother, and I moved from Ham Lake, MN to Watertown, MN. I spent 2.5 months living in Watertown before moving to Augie. After my freshman year I spent the summer living with an old teacher in high school, which meant I was only in Watertown on the weekends. The summer after my sophomore year I stayed at Augustana to work for the summer. Finally, I spent the past summer living in Rock Island again.
Given all the time that I’ve spent in the Quad Cities I have a hard time accepting that by June this will no longer be my home and I will no longer be in school. I won’t be right across the hall or campus from some of the best friends that I’ve made. I won’t have delicious and reasonably priced local goodies right down the street – Watertown has a population of approximately 5,000 so we don’t have many restaurants around us which means I will definitely miss Whitey’s and La Ranch. I won’t have hours long breaks during the day, which could be a negative or a positive. I probably won’t have the luxury of sleeping in until 10am multiple days in a week.
While there are a lot of things I won’t have when this year is over, there are many more things that I will have. I will have the knowledge gained from two majors and one minor. I will have experience in interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, risk management, and communication. I will have the pride of having completed my degree in less than 4 years. I will have friendships that will cross the country and last forever. I will also have sisters and brothers from COG and APO that span the country and the world. I will have experience with paying bills and rent. I will have memories that will last a lifetime. I will have mentors and professional relationships that will help me advance in whatever path I choose to pursue.
On days when I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that I am a senior, a leader of the school, the top class, and I want all those things I listed first to stay with me forever, I remind myself of all the positive things I will gain from leaving Augie.
Some of you who are reading this may recognize how I feel right now. Almost every senior that I’ve talked to is at least a little bit in denial about being the oldest on campus. Others may be feeling like this time will never come for you; you’re burdened with work, and homework, and everything else that teens and young adults have going on. However, I can assure you that one day this feeling will come. You will be the big dogs on campus. You will have gained experience in so many types of situations that you can’t even fathom right now. You will be ready to spread your wings.