I sit here, four years post-college to the day, and going through my old college graduation blog posts from 2014. Every May I do this; I get all my good, evergreen college posts ready to be scheduled on social media for a new crop of seniors to read and I get emotional.

Just remembering how it felt to write those blog posts in my off-campus apartment while crying my eyes out and thinking I wouldn't know how to survive without the place I called home; without the place I cherished more than anything else in my life.

Those first 6 months, and even the first year after graduation I felt like I was drowning. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to be an adult and all I wanted was to crawl back in the cocoon that was college. I wasn't ready and I didn't think I ever would be.

Yet, here I am and I'm ok.

How did I end up here, four years later?

Who would've thought my life has changed this much from the moment I walked across the stage at Madison Square Garden?

I've been through a lot the past four years; friendships ended and friendships began, I've moved from one house to another, I lost my dad, and I've struggled a lot with my mental health. I've struggled with my career, my social life, my love life, and balancing everything in-between.

However, despite all of that I am still standing and I'm doing pretty good, and not just from the outside looking in.

I have what some would say is a dream job, even though it doesn't even feel like work. I have all of my college friends and talk to them almost every day. I have a wonderful family and support system. I recently got a promotion at work, and I'm still blogging. Plus, I have a side project or two in the works that I hope to finish by the end of the year.

If 21-year-old Briana could look at 25-year-old Briana, she would think she's doing pretty great and despite everything, life has thrown at her the past four years, she came out on the other side.

And that's the thing I've learned most the past four years.

Everything is going to be ok in the end, even if you don't think it will be. Even if there is no light at the end of the very long tunnel, things have a way of just working itself out.

You get over that boy, you find that job, you get over your nerves about an interview, you learn to handle work confrontations, you still find time for your friends... in the end, it's all ok.

I went through the worst thing to ever happen to me: my dad died and yet, here I am. I survived.

Somedays I wake up and don't know how I got here but I know that I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Without college, without the horrible experience and depression I had after graduating, I don't know where I'd be. I think in a way it made me stronger and tougher because, before my dad, I lost the one real thing that was special to me.

It sucks, I won't lie, to see your campus change and people you knew as freshmen are now long gone.  Nothing looks the same and the people are drastically different but whenever you walk back onto that campus, you suddenly feel like you've traveled back in time.

Whenever I go back to New Rochelle and visit Iona, I immediately start to cry. As soon as I see the campus sign, I get extremely emotional and am driving through the tears. It's a weird feeling, for sure, but more than anything, it makes me happy.

I'm so happy that after all this time, even with everything that has changed here and in my life, the feeling I have toward this place has never changed.

When I'm with my college friends, the feeling they give me is still the same feeling as all those years ago and that makes my heart sing loudly.

Because the truth is, no matter where you go or however much time passes, the feeling you have around those people that changed you will still be there.

So to anyone who is reading this and scared shitless of putting on their cap and gown -- don't be. I promise you, if I am ok, you will be ok too.

You can always go home again, even if the home isn't your college campus but those people who grew up with you and helped you become the person you are today.

You may leave a place and leave people but they never really leave you.


SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment