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I'm Not Going Back to School

I've jokingly made this threat before the start of every single semester since my freshmen year. But this time, I'm being serious. It's not for lack of effort or me finally throwing in the towel. After seven grueling semesters and wanting to seriously give up more than once, I don't have to go back to school. I have my diploma sitting on my desk at home in its white envelope with the incorrect date printed on it (I think it's too funny to get it fixed). My gown and sash are still hanging in my closet at my apartment and my glittery cap, bless its heart, is somewhere in some trash pile because I could not keep that mess contained.

I digress, for me, there is no more school. No waking up at five in the morning so I could leave for classes. No more stuffing my tote bag full of notebooks and textbooks and walking to campus with my upper body at an angle. No more suppressing my stomach growling in class because I'm too cheap to pay for food on campus. There's so many little things that I'm not going to miss about being in school, mostly all surrounding the insane amounts of stress that college bestowed upon me.

Is there anything that I'm going to miss? Sure. I liked getting ready for classes. I like getting out of the house a few times a week for some fresh air when I walked to campus, even if it was absolutely freezing at 7:30 in the morning when I used to leave with my roommate. I'm going to miss that little six block strand of campus in the heart of downtown Cleveland and calling it my school. I'm going to miss seeing friends in the hallway. It always gave me a such a homey feel, for whatever reason.

Life After College™, as I'm pegging it for myself, hasn't hit me yet. The past month has just felt like a normal winter break, the same one I would have gotten if I was a student still. But now with my friends and roommates going back this week, it's starting to hit me. I'm done with school forever. Forever. There's no grad school on the horizon for me, no second degree. I'm done. Finito. Complete.

It's such an odd feeling. I've been in school since I was just a tiny little three-year-old with butterfly clips in her hair. For the past eighteen years, I've been in classes, too afraid to raise my hand and speak up. I've worn three different uniforms before I got to make my own sartorial choices as a college student.

It's going to be weird without school for a while, I think. I'm lucky that I have more than enough work and jobs to keep my occupied during what would have been my eighth semester, but I think that it's going to make me feel a little left out when I see my roommates doing school work or leaving for classes on my days off of my "in person" job. I'll probably feel a little guilty, which for me is pretty normal. I'll just need to remind myself that I paid my dues and that it's time to finally get to enjoy life instead of constantly worrying about something academic.

So, no, I'm not going back to school and nothing has ever felt as great as being able to say that. To all those who aren't done with school yet, good luck! You're going to do great things. And to my fellow alumni of whatever school you went to, want to get a drink?


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