Starting College in Two Weeks, or, ALL THE FEELS

Tonight I’m lying in the bed of a family I’m house-sitting for over the weekend. It’s a little lonely, just me over here at the Carroll Cottage, but I like it. My iPhone tells me it would take me a mere 14 minutes to return home and fall asleep in my own bed tonight, but I’m staying here instead. It makes me feel connected for the weekend to the family that lives in this house, a family I won’t get to see again until Christmas-time; and it’s also given me time to think… and just… be.
My word for the year is “be,” and my summer this year has been anything but. This has been the best summer of my life, hands down, but it has been jam-packed full. Not much time to simply be. I’ve actually felt a little sad about that, and so I am thankful for this peaceful and solitary weekend in the midst of the pre-college mayhem.
While at my home away from home this weekend, many thoughts have entered into my head, and I’ve been able to give each of them the attention they deserve. Not too many thoughts, because you know… Netflix… but still, quite a fair amount. I’ve thought a lot about college and how I have less than two weeks before I move into Gardner dorm. Typing that sentence makes me tear up. I have mixed emotions about it all. Part of me is so excited, and part of me is kind of grieving this end of an era.

I know that a new and brighter one is just beginning, but I haven’t quite let go of the last one.

I really do think I am mourning it, in a sense. I’m a natural crier, but up that by about 95374, and you have my life currently. Places I have cried this week include, but are not limited to…

  • my car, if any sort of sentimental song plays
  • a fast-food drive-thru when the thought pops into my head that I’ll never be a kid again
  • McAlister’s Deli over some salad and sandwiches with Dava Lynn
  • last night with Karen and Matalee while watching a sweet movie (but any movie will work, people. I’ve got tears fo’ dayz), and then while getting into my car afterward because I love that family that I get to call partly mine
  • in the middle of Target today, like a champ (that one’s for you, Bailey)
  • the couch here today at the Carroll Cottage because something sweet happened on The Office that I can’t even remember now
  • a few seconds ago because Lisa texts such lovely advice
  • and Facebook, because we can’t forget the random, sweet videos that people link to. I used to scroll on by, but now I suddenly watch them all, like an addict. And then I google “sweet videos that make you cry” because that’s rational…

And the list goes on.

Send help. And Kleenex.

Something I don’t have to cry about however (although I’m sure you’re catching on by now and realizing that I do, heh) is how extremely thankful I am for my people… people that will not be leaving my life in 2 weeks, neither emotionally nor physically, when I go to college. Despite the adorable cards I’ve received from a few children I babysit explaining how much they will miss me when I go to college, I actually AM staying here (and coincidentally moving to their side of town, meaning I will see them even more. But, you know… details, details.)

And so I shake myself like hellllllo, you’re staying in Abilene for goodness sakes, Carlee, you are one strange girl to be so sad and teary. Right? I don’t know. I’m not saying there’s a method to my madness. I’m just someone that likes to feel her feelings. I’ve tried suppressing them and not feeling them, and this is better. Much better. Trust me.

And, please do hear me when I say that there is so much joy mixed in with the bit of sadness. I’m so excited for new beginnings, for new friendships, for a new outlook on life. I’m excited to finally have people I love so dearly as my professors, and to start a job in an amazing environment on campus. I’m excited to meet the girls that I’ll be a bridesmaid for in their weddings, and perhaps vice versa. I can’t wait to try new things, and to go to school to take classes in subjects that I love. Sayōnara, math class. I’m ready to go to the same school with people that I already love so dearly, and to grow those friendships even more. I’m anticipating traveling the world, and growing deeper into my own community. I’m excited to have a front row seat to watch children I love like siblings continue to grow. I’m thankful for that part of my life not changing one bit in two weeks; that I get to take my second families to college right alongside me. I’m grateful that I’ll get to see my sister make her way through high school and all the triumphs and challenges that come with that. I’ll even be able to go home, pet my dog, and sit down for a hot dinner with people I love, just across town. All this and more.

I’m so thankful for ACU, so thankful that I get to call such a wonderful place my home for a little while. Good things are in store. I must remind myself of these things and remind myself often. I must also remember that it’s okay and healthy to grieve the ending of a really great season in my life.

Things are changing, and they are changing oh-so-fast, but so many important things are staying the same. And so many things are changing for the better.

Ready or not… but I think I am.


15 thoughts on “Starting College in Two Weeks, or, ALL THE FEELS

  1. Dear Carlee,
    I read this post and although I do not cry, we share the same nostalgic feelings. I often find myself not excited for the future but scared. I have to remind myself of the greater plan and the bigger things ahead. Our journey is not over yet it seems like a part of us is dying off as we leave for college. My advice to you is to take it all in while you can and remember that you are not alone in this journey of life. Anytime you need assurance just refer to Hebrew 13:5-6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I enjoyed reading them.


  2. And ready you are, my dear! As I read your thoughts, It struck me, once again, that I am amazed by you. How many young women entering college a) have a blog b) are so able to capture their thoughts and feelings so eloquently and with such humor AND depth c) have made themselves so available, both physically and emotionally that they have become such a wonderful part of their family’s lives. Not many, my darling. You are one in a million. And those that love you most are thrilled to have a front-row seat as the curtain rises on your new stage. And now I’M tearing up. Love to you, sweet one. Lots of love.


  3. It sure sounds like you are ready for the world. This is one of the transitions you will experience in this life. Each one is different and we learn different things. We will mourn in some transitions and in others we will celebrate. Yet in others we will be indifferent.

    You are doing a great job at “BE.” You are embracing the experiences instead of hiding from them. You are looking for lessons instead of ignoring them.

    You are ready! Go take the world by the tail (or at least ACU).


  4. Reblogged this on anafalz and commented:
    Here are words from a high school graduate who is headed off to college. While no two people are the same, I imagine many your adults are feeling similar things right now. Take a moment and revisit that first major transition that many people go through.


  5. “Feeling your feelings” is actually pretty rare – do you know that? I believe you will probably do this your whole life. Acknowledging a moment in time that you realize is unique and fleeting – what a treasure to be able to do that. Right there with you, girl. And when you’re 50 it’s a comfort to look back and remember those moments. It makes life deep and real and well. . . a little damp with tears but still – rich. Love you, Carlee! Be sure and stop by my office sometimes!


  6. I remember tears falling out of the blue at breakfast the morning that I was to drive to ACU to stay. New beginnings come with endings, and both must be experienced in the transition. Enjoy the ride!!


  7. Beautifully written to relay our conversation yesterday. It’s so funny that you blogged this – I was lying in my hotel bed last night typing a college-themed blog post as well! Excited to see this new friendship flourish! Love you!


    1. Thanks, friend. So excited to go to college with you!!! And so excited to make this whole transition with you too. Thankful for someone who knows just how I feel. I love you!


  8. And the biggest Constant of of All holds your hand and lives within. What joy you will experience on the new adventures He has for you, but I am PROUD that you cry. Not just because it validates my own ready tears to find a new generation who feels intensely, but because I, like you, think tears are precious. Jesus wept. He felt deeply and beckons us to join in that experience of life that requires visible reaction. I love you, my darling granddaughter, and look forward to some bawling sessions with you..
    Luvs….prayers…shared joys in the new life. Mimi



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