As we return to campus from the holidays it is nice to indulge ourselves with a bit of nostalgia. For first years, realizing our childhood is now in the past is a new, bittersweet development.
Moving and beginning a new chapter of your life can be challenging, especially when you revisit your old life and realize what you have left behind. Despite its flaws, you begin to appreciate it in ways you never did before.
As a first-year student, I often find myself searching for the old within the new. I will catch a glimpse of someone walking on campus, and for a second, they look like the class clown from fourth period history freshman year of high school.
You begin to miss the little things — the "good morning's" from your odd chemistry teacher and life stories from your AP government teacher and even your sister taking an hour in the bathroom before school.
You miss all the people and faces you took for granted when you saw them almost every day for four, nine or 13 years of your life.
Now you are in a new town with new people and places. You have only lived here for a couple of months, but it quickly became your new home.
Some of us joined a thousand clubs or became a part of Greek life. We have met so many people and tried so many different things. I find out about a new place in Auburn nearly every day.
As thrilling as this newfound freedom can be, it can also be exhausting. All the opportunities and decisions can be paralyzing without proper guidance.
In some ways, we are grieving our old lives. Whatever they may be.
Given the pandemic regulations and subsequent quarantine in our junior and senior years of high school, many of us may be less accustomed to ordinary hustle and bustle, making our transition to college more challenging than it already is.
During the process of applying and choosing a college to attend academic resources were limited to those deemed "essential", which left many students with little guidance outside of the home.
Furthermore, regardless of our preferences, switching from an online academic setting to an on-campus setting can be taxing (emotionally and physically) after becoming accustomed to less social interaction during the quarantine.
Yet, life moves on. You are expected to show up and participate in life. Turn in the assignments. Keep your grades up. Smile when you're stressed out. Try to do better.
However, it is okay to not be okay.
As we process the death of our old lives, we may experience sadness (despite our severe senioritis in high school). We also may feel anxious about what direction to take in our lives. After all, no one is holding your hand anymore.
Let us feel whatever we need to feel and accept the end of a chapter. We are only just beginning.
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Dioselin Cruz, freshman in history, is an Opinion columnist for The Auburn Plainsman.