Recently, I have the distinct sensation that I am standing on a precipice of a giant cliff. My feet are balanced precariously on the edge and below is complete darkness. I have been slowly and carefully walking up to this cliff edge for the last four years. Initially, I would look at the others standing on the distant edge, contemplating how terrified they must feel. There is nothing underneath them that they can see; their destiny is completely unknown. And then, they would jump. Where they landed, I hardly knew. Now, as a Senior, I stand on this very edge. In the next three months, I have to prepare myself and then jump.
Even as I stand now on this edge, I am constantly overcome by two emotions. Either I am completely ready or extremely sad. Fear is not an option at the moment. I have far greater things in life to fear. And the view down from the cliff-edge is more clear than that while standing two, three, or four years off. I can now see this Man waiting at the bottom. He is strong and capable and He is very kind. He is calling to me. Right now, He yells gently, “Get ready! Get set! You don’t have much longer, but you still are there for a reason!”
I will admit that there are days when I feel so ready leave. I do not hate Christendom. Quite the contrary. But, God is calling me out into the world immenently and in order to leave a place as incredible as this, God must provide immense graces to quell the fear and sadness. Those days when, detesting the idea of cleaning my room for room checks as a twenty-three year old woman, I offer this up for the Holy Souls and visions of apartments dance through my head.
On the contrary, there are those days when suddenly the reality of it all hits me in the face, usually lasting only thirty seconds. Saturday night, I pulled various pictures out of my photo albums for the Senior slideshow shown for the Senior Dinner in May. I made four stacks: Freshman year, Sophomore year, Junior Year, Senior year. Suddenly, the near-end was sitting tangibly in front of me. Four years, four stacks of pictures. As the radio lilted out melancholic songs behind me, I flipped through all the pictures from the four years. Mary Akers, now happily married, dressed tackily to meet her ex-boyfriend’s parents. Iona’s birthday party from Freshman year. Top Floor Campion crowded into Bethany Zuniga’s room for the surprise party she never showed up to. Julian and Adam swing dancing together for Coffee House. Various dances, parties, girl-times, and memories.
College, the wise adults (we ourselves are quickly becoming) say, is supposed to be “the time of your life.” I have no regrets, only that the time is almost over. I vowed long ago to carefully balance my social and academic life, having heard two regrets from former college students of all ages: “I wish I’d spent more time studying,” or, “I wish I’d hung out with my friends more.” Having gained an enviable and wonderful education and made life-long, holy, and loving friendships, I get ready to jump knowing that I have those two very things to back me up and that nice, loving Man below me to catch me.
As I continue through my last semester, waiting for reality to permanently hit me, I continue to make friends and learn new things. God has a reason for me being here until the day I graduate. And when I do, I hope I leave behind something that other students behind me can learn from. I hope that when they, too, step onto the edge they may look with confidence on my Senior Class and garner hope from us. And when I leap in May, I will continue to look on this place as my first home and pray to meet all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in our true Home.