I’ve been “ready” to graduate from college since I was eight years old (remember when I told the Seattle Pacific University admissions guy that I was already applying for schools at a college fair back in fifth grade?)…or so I thought. Ever since I entered middle school when my grades reflected the idea that I sucked at academia, I thought that the greatest thing to ever happen to me would be the day that I graduated from college and moved on to the real world where I could actually pursue a career I loved. Unfortunately and surprisingly, I spent over $150,000 and all I got was (perpetual anxiety and depression) my diploma and the sadness and uncertainty that have plagued me over the past three months. Sure, it doesn’t help at all that my sadness and uncertainty is triggered by my inability to convince someone to hire me, but a lot of these awful feelings are due to my unexpected depression over leaving the life I led for four years. It’s true…I miss Baylor and I never thought I would ever say that. I constantly complained about the food, the annoying people, the classes I was forced to take that I hated, and everything that made Baylor different from home while I was in Waco, but now I can’t stop wishing I could be back in the small city from which I ran and this desire is making my sadness and uncertainty even more prevalent. I always rejected the idea that college would be the best days of my life and to be fair, many of my university days were filled with extreme stress, frustration, anger, and depression, but I think I tried to zoom through all of the bad times and forgot to treasure the moments that made my time at Baylor so special. It’s like that cliché phrase: you never know what you have until it’s gone, and that’s especially true after leaving the place where I truly grew up and discovered who I am. I made some of the most incredible friends (Jonathan, Lo, Stephanie, Krista, Leah, Rachel, Josh, Wilson, Brandon, Jazzi, Adam, Aaron) although I didn’t have the traditional gigantic Greek life friend group, I worked with and became close to people I admired for years, I made lifelong connections with a few professors whom I adore and respect, I learned that I actually love most one-four year old children (not all of them obviously), and I had the opportunity to work in an atmosphere that most people never have the chance to experience. Because I was so eager to rush through school and enter the real adult world, I missed out on treasuring so much time with the people I truly love and I took Baylor and Waco for granted. There’s a strange sadness and uncertainty that comes with graduation from any college, and I think it’s time we as recent graduates talk about those feelings more. I’m learning every day that it’s okay and normal to feel depressed after leaving a place where I spent the majority of my time for almost half a decade and to wish that I could go back to the familiarity of college. I was so sad when I watched last week’s Baylor football game from the comfort of my own home instead of in the press box where I used to work with my best friends and idols, and those emotions are warranted too. Graduating from college was obviously a huge milestone, but I’m slowly allowing myself to mourn my departure from Waco and embrace the new life I’m building for myself.