Tomorrow, my friends who were freshman when I was a junior in college will be graduating.
Tonight is their last official night as college students. Once they proudly walk across that stage they will be expected to be full functioning adults. People will ask them where they will be working and whether they have a 401k. They’ll need to know how to do taxes and maybe they’ll move out of their parents’ house and get a place of their own.
But tonight, they’re still kids. And I hope to God that they realize that.
I remember the night before I graduated. It was a mess. I drank too much. I hung out on the beach in clothes that were not made for that kind of breeze. I almost jumped into the ocean but thought better of it. I helped pass around a watermelon flavored joint, but didn’t smoke it – I guess I’ve never been the pot smoking type, but that night I almost pretended I was. I kissed a boy I didn’t care about while sitting on his bed, just in case I never got the chance to again. I didn’t get home until it was almost time to wake up. I barely slept, I ate Chinese food and drank champagne from the bottle through a straw in bed. I told my roommates how much I loved them. I squeezed out every last ounce of college that I could.
The next day I became an adult, not a very good one, I might add, but an adult in everyone’s eyes. I skipped across that stage like I had won the lotto. I had done it, I had graduated college. Sure, it’s a pretty normal thing for most people, but fuck them, I was excited. I had done it all on my own and I was proud. I had done stupid things during my 4 years there but nothing I regretted. And it was all done with. My cap said “never give up” in black and silver sparkles, and I knew I hadn’t.
The day I graduated college was a whirlwind of unnecessary emotions, but that was two years ago. But now I kinda want it back.