by i2i Guest Blogger, Hannah Gravitt aka XC Girl . . . the sophomore

It’s that time of year again. You know the one; the time that you simultaneously anticipate and dread all year long. It’s the last day of school.

You anticipate it because FINALLY all of the work is OVER! Yet at the same time, you dread it because it means missing out on the hours of guaranteed time with your friends everyday. And even more so in college, because it means going almost 4 months without seeing your friends who live across the country, or even worse who live halfway around the world.

I never imagined that I would become so close to people in such a short time. This freshman year seemed like a blink, and I suspect the next 3 years will go even faster. As I look back over the last year, it has been marked by so many memories. All those people who say “the college years are the best of your life” certainly know a thing or two. I wouldn’t trade the last year for anything!

I’m so grateful to have had an incredible roommate, so many new friends, and an overall great “freshman experience.”  I’m already looking forward to coming back this fall, and we haven’t even left yet.

Now comes the hard part.  Taking everything home – the person you’ve become, the memories you’ve made, everything you’ve learned, and figuring out how to relate it to the people you love and miss from home. Because reality is that things have changed, and the stories that are sooo funny here probably won’t mean too much to the people back home.

But that’s the fun part. It is, in and of itself, a learning experience. It’s learning how to be the daughter or son, brother or sister, and friend that you were before, while staying true to who you are as a result of college. It may be the greatest adventure of my freshman year, overcoming the divide between here and there.

However much I may dread the day of goodbyes here, I am looking forward to the summer! I have no doubt there will be many sweet reunions with the people I couldn’t imagine leaving this time last spring. There will be cookouts, pool parties, road trips, and many other fun times!

And best of all after sweet summertime, there’s looking forward to . . . the first day of school.