As I snuggled with mystuffed animals and looked at the posters and pictures on my wall, sadness tookover. This was my last day of being a kid. Sleeping in my bed. Staring at myposters. Watching old, silly movies on my TV. Sitting at my desk. Writingletters. Being with my dad and stepmom. Eating my dad's great cooking. Watching"Emeril Live" with them in the basement.
And, now ... well, nowI won't be seeing them every day. This is my home and I'm leaving. It's all over.Just like that. It's not fair how time goes so fast. It has become my worstenemy. I am crying until my eyes are dried out.
Now that I think back toyesterday, a day full of laughter and happiness, I realize I was lying to myself.I thought I was ready. I told myself I was ready because other people weretelling me I was ready. My parents and others said, "Mary, you're going todo so well in college," and, "Mary, your professors are going to loveyou." But how does anyone know that? People just say that to boost myconfidence. They don't know what the future holds - not that I'm asking anyone towhip out a crystal ball and tell me, because I don't want to know.
I didreally well in high school. I'm so scared of college. I don't think I'm ready forthis. What's wrong with me? I'm supposed to be excited. I'm supposed to bejumping up and down full of happiness. I'm supposed to be so many things, but I'mnot. I'm a different person with a whole set of weird feelings.
Oh,great, now I'm getting sappy. I'm going to start crying again. Jeez, I'm such awimp, I don't even look like a college student. People still think I'm ten yearsold. I don't act like a college student. Then again, what is a collegestudent supposed to act like? Are they supposed to be cool, confident, and on topof the world? Or are they supposed to be scared so much that they want to huddleunder the covers with an old teddy bear?
It's just all changing too fast.I'm going to have to leave behind so many things. Oh, yeah, Mary, look at yournew beginning, though. New beginning ... a new beginning I am so deathly scaredof. A new beginning, and an ending.
The big day is here, the nerves arehere, the knots are in my stomach, and the tears are here ... the only thingmissing is me. I'm the one who's missing in the picture because I don't want tobe in the picture. I would give anything if I didn't have to be in this picture.I would give anything to be a kid again and not face reality.
Okay, herewe go. I have to face it sooner or later, right? I'm going. See my hand? It'swaving bye-bye. Wish me luck, okay? I really need it.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.