Life changes

Cherryl F. Cercado, Editorial Assistant

It is the recent smell of the pungent dry air, seeing the campus drenched in heat and the slow-paced, monotonous bustle that reminds me of my first few weeks at La Verne.

It brings me back to the first day of moving into the dorms, anticipating the start of freshmen camp and the indifference I felt toward the people I met.

I came to college thinking that the friends I made in junior high and high school would be enough. Even though we were all headed in different directions, there was not going to be a need for making new friends. I did not want to do anything because my friends and I shared so many adventures that could never be repeated and secrets that could never, ever be spoken.

I was still living and holding onto the few remnants left of high school, of my accomplishments, of the perfect summer that had just passed and of the times spent lazily traveling in a big, old, red convertible.

I was happy with everything and, although not excited, I was curious about the events that would come before me. I did not know what lie ahead. All I knew of the future was that it was going to be big, bright and beautiful.

Without trying, I made new, interesting friends who provoked ideas that I never knew I had. These are the same friends that I have spilled my thoughts out to, no matter how narrow-minded or obsolete they may be, without the distress of being judged.

Although I still keep in close contact with my friends from home, still sharing the secrets we have, we have drifted apart and have done our own growing with the absence of one another’s presence, a feat that we once thought to be impossible.

As my junior year comes to a close in three short weeks and I see my friends who are seniors preparing for graduation, I am confronted with the changes that have taken place, not only in my own, individual world but also of the people around me.

Everyone has changed. The friend who wore bright orange shorts our freshmen year to match her ULV sweatshirt now dresses in simple, professional-looking clothes to go to her internship.

Another friend who viewed every situation with a dash of pessimism has blossomed into an efficient leader and now calls herself a realist. And as one other friend maturely and expertly prepares for her June wedding, I am reminded of how she was once a rambunctious sophomore who was always ready for battle. She was the epitome of a fearless warrior, without any regards or mercy toward her enemies.

As these changes have occurred, I am dumbfounded at the speed in which time passes. When I express that I will be 30 years old soon, others scoff and laugh at me. They are quick to remind me that it will be another long, nine years before this event takes place. They do not understand that I feel as if my youth is accelerating as fast as the minutes and hours in the day disappear.

Instead of being a starry-eyed, obnoxious freshman, thinking that I am able to conquer everything in my path with ease, I am faced with the challenges and insecurities of my upcoming senior year.

I find myself desperately trying to prepare for a future that does not seem to be so big, bright and beautiful anymore. Reality has struck with such a powerful force that it has left me wondering and doubting my abilities.

Because I have been nestled in the comfort of these past three years, I am caught off-guard. What used to be the future is creeping toward me and is fast becoming the present. Then there is the other part of me who remains optimistic, who refuses to be defeated by the unknown and who possesses the strength and knowledge to control and master my destiny.

As my friends graduate from college, I am once again reminded that all things in life change. And never have these changes been more evident than these past three years.

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