365 Days

from Neha Saxena

May 6, 2013, 8:19 a.m.

I am not a writer. I am not a story teller. I have the vocabulary of an 8th grader probably even less than that. I am a thinker. I think a lot. Maybe a bit too much for my health. Because in my case, my thinking leads to worrying. So I guess I'm also a worrier. There are moments when I want to write down what I am thinking, but it never ends up happening. I guess today is one of those rare moments that I am actually writing what I feel or at least a censored version of what I feel.

You know what I think is absolutely crazy? How fast time flies and we really don't notice. One year ago, I had no idea how much was going to change in my life. For us humans, a single day seems so insignificant. People ask us what we did today and we generally respond with a simple "nothing". I'm not sure if that is out of pure laziness or if nothing really did happen. For humans, days are insignificant but the accumulation of 365 days can have such an large impact on our lives. I want you to take a second and think of what was happening in your life exactly one year ago. You most likely don't remember, but if I asked you what all has happened in the past year, you could name a list of events. Exactly a year ago for me, I had my senior year prom. May 5th 2012. That day I would have never thought that so much would happen and change in exactly a year.

One of my biggest problems is that I have a hard time letting go. I don't really know why, but I guess I just like holding on to what is good and what is comfortable. Before my senior year of high school started, it really hit me that I needed to embrace my last year of high school before it was all over. High school was probably one the best four years of my life because I learned a lot about myself and where I belonged. I was probably the biggest wannabee in middle school, and I would try to fit in with the "popular" kids, and try to be someone I definitely was not. I made a fool out of myself, and I didn't even realize until it was all over. When I finally found my place in high school, I didn't want to let it go because everything just seemed so perfect. I didn't want to start all over. I liked where I stood, and I definitely did not want to let go of the people who were in my life. I hated that people would go on and on about how you never really end up staying in touch with your high school friends once you were in college. And I know now that is partially the truth, but if people truly matter to you then you will do anything to keep them in your life. It doesn't matter how big the sacrifice, and I can honestly say that when it comes to friendship a sacrifice doesn't even seem like a sacrifice. It just seems like the right thing to do. I know that once the last two months of high school came around, I was beyond devastated to be leaving so many people. It's just honestly hard to have to let go of people who you care so much about, and what's worse is to see that they don't care as much as you do or they don't realize how much is really going to change. Eventually, I came to peace with it, and I realized that I will always keep the ones that I care about close to me. It was the promise I made myself. I even wrote a number of letters to really close friends to remind them how much I value their friendship and care about them. I definitely think those letters brought me closure and made me feel a little better about letting go. But my biggest fear was college at that point. That I would not make the same kind of friendships and just feel out of place. And I can honestly say that I was not really looking forward to going to Georgia Tech. I didn't think that I belonged there, and a lot of people had scared me out of going there. People always talked about how hard the academics were, and it just scared me. It was foreign. I was in a place where academics weren't much of a problem, and now I was going to walk into one of the most difficult schools in the nation. My friends would always talk about how excited they were about going to college and I almost felt guilty for not feeling the same way. I just wanted it to be summer forever. No worries, no stress, no problems, no transitions.

I think one of the worst days of the summer was my birthday. I know that sounds really depressing. It was August 15th. The day right before move- in day. 18 felt like the most loneliest number. The thing about me is that I LOVE birthdays because its just a day to celebrate you. Not in a selfish or conceited way, but it was just your day and nothing could go wrong because it was your day. I think my birthday was sad because my a few of my closest friends had already left for college, and I had to say goodbye to the few friends who were still home on my birthday. Nothing seemed to be right. How could I possibly be happy on my favorite day of the year when I had to say goodbye to some of the most important people in my life?

I basically dreaded the first few weeks of college. Well not really dreaded, but it was definitely hard to put up with. First off 8 am classes are the worst, and so are public bathrooms. It's literally a shame that people are in college and they STILL cannot properly use a bathroom. You don't belong in college. But that's not really the point. At the beginning of the school year my alarm would go off at 6 am (don't worry, I eventually learned about skipping classes), and it would make this horrendous beeping sound that would get increasingly louder if you didn't turn it off. Every morning after taking a shower, I would put on my Bath and Body Work's Velvet Tuberose lotion. Even today the alarm sound and the smell of the lotion reminds me of the beginning of Fall semester and they remind me of that sense of misery that I faced those first few weeks. Its almost eerie and troubling.

I think one of the hardest thing to do is take the advice given to you. When you are miserable, you want to do everything to get out of your misery, but at the same time, the misery is comfortable and you are worried that if you are happy then your world will quickly come crashing down again. People always comfort you, and tell you what they think is the right way to lead your life. Funny thing is that you know all this advice; you've given yourself this advice millions of times. But the advice just isn't comforting. Because in the moment the misery and the feelings you have are real and nothing can change that. You shouldn't be forced to feel differently because then you are just lying to yourself.

By now, either you have stopped reading this story or you think it is a pathetic sob story. But I promise it has a happy ending or at least an ending that makes you look forward to the future. My first year of college was amazing. I didn't know what to expect at all but it turned out to be a great first year. Sad to say I don't have any crazy stories about getting drunk or doing something absolutely crazy. I went to parties that's for sure. I think the wildest thing I did was grind with a 30 year old (no I was NOT drunk), and he wasn't even 30. My friends just make me think that he was and then proceed to tease me about it. My friends and I made 4 am Waffle House runs. I fell off my bed one night and busted my lip. Watched my phone fall off the 5th floor. I almost pulled an all-nighter. Almost had my first relationship. Took a ton of naps on the floor. Learned to get my act together. Fell in love with rap music (well some) and the SGA president who graduated . Rejected someone. But most importantly made the greatest friends ever.

I was one of the lucky ones, and my roommate ended up being one of my best friends. I did random roommate, and it was literally crazy how well my roommate and I got along. We literally shared our life stories with each other the first week of school and there has been this special bond ever since then. We just click. Yeah there are times when we get on each other's nerves, but I know that we always have each other's backs. She is a life long friend, and I don't know what I would do without her. She put up with my crazy, emotional self this year, and I definitely love her so much for that. It's also strange that I became best friends with someone who I couldn't stand in high school. It's crazy how much we can misinterpret someone, but I am so glad I got to know him. I've always had such amazing friends, but this year I really learned a lot about true friendship. My friends in college have my back. I remember one night I burst out crying in front of three of my guy friends and I ran back to my dorm in tears. A few minutes later I get a text message from one of them saying that I shouldn't be outside in the dark and that if I need to talk about something they are here for me. I read the message absolutely bewildered. I never thought that they cared that much, and honestly, it meant so much hearing that from them. I remember my friends checking up on me when I was sick, and I remember my roommate talking to some of my high school friends when she knew that I missed them. These things seem so small but they meant so much coming from them. There was a period of time in college where I felt unwanted. I know that feeling was just another trouble I was making up in my mind. I felt as though my friends in college weren't really my true friends and they were just kind of there. I also felt like I had no friends that were girls, which was partially true, I guess that is the downside of not being in a sorority and going to Tech. There are barely any girls, so you end up being friends with mainly guys. I only made three actual girl friends, but I only ended up being close to one and that was my roommate. I definitely wasted a lot of time making up all these problems inside my head. I think it just felt nice to know that I was wanted and everything in my mind was just a way to throw myself a pity party.

I think the whole point of this story was to write out my rambling, jumbled up thoughts. Back to my initial point, its crazy to look back at these past 365 days. So much has happened, and I remember exactly a year ago dreading all this. Everything happens for a reason, and it may not seem so in the moment, but I think that is one of the greatest truths. You may not know or understand the reason in the moment, but eventually you realize why whatever happened, happened. There were times that I struggled with a lot of personal issues during the school year, and I think those issues turned me into a downright bitch for a few weeks. But I am glad that I am over that phase and that I've learned from the past. People tell you to let go of the past, but before you do that, always remember to learn from it first.

Today I went to a farewell party for a friend who is leaving for her mission for 18 months. This really got me thinking. I tried to project 18 months from today and its nearly impossible to imagine how much will change in the next 18 months. It's pretty scary. My friend is going to barely have any contact with the outside world, and she is going to come back 18 months later all of a sudden immersed in 18 months of change. It's like in Arthur when Buster leaves for a long time and he comes back to see that so much has changed. (Did that episode really happen or am I imagining stuff?) Earlier today I sat with my best friend from high school and we just sat there and thought about how we never expected anything that happened in the past year to actually happen. You never really know what to expect and in hindsight it almost seems surreal.

There is a lot I am nostalgic about, and there is definitely a lot I wish I could relive. I am happy to say that I am so thankful for where I am in life right now. There are some friendships that I wish could go back to the way they were and there are some friendships I have that are much stronger than they have ever been. But I know that everything happens for a reason. May 6th 2012. Another insignificant day. May 6th 2013. It's 2:55 am. I don't know what the day holds. I don't know what the week holds. I don't know what on earth the rest of the year holds. But I look forward to seeing what this summer and the rest of the year has in store for me.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. ~ Steve Jobs


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