You spend your childhood wanting to grow up, and you spend your adulthood wishing you were a child again. That’s what people say, and I find myself believing in that more and more with each passing year. Sometimes, I really want to go back to the times when my principal tasks were to make it to the beginning of my favorite cartoon, decide what games my friends and I want to play, and convince my mum to let me go to the sleepover. Those days were great and filled with mostly positive moments that seem so carefree and bring warm and fuzzy feelings. I will not claim that I am mature and ready to face challenges my destiny has prepared for me, but now is the game-changer event in my life.
Maybe going to college isn’t something that would turn my daily routine upside down. However, I still want to believe that the next years would be exceptional. Teenage movies and youthful high spirits must be the reasons that make me ascend to a different life that I could never actually live, wow. But, who said that it’s wrong? I guess that’s something that leads to understanding ourselves, other people, and life itself.
The reality hits us, and we realize that we’re not in a romantic comedy, where all the actions are scripted and lead to the happy ending with touching music, hugs, and tears of joy. If there was some kind of a book where all the decisions I need to take would have been written, I would use it beyond any shadow of a doubt. To me, there is nothing worse than choosing what I have to do not to screw everything up.
Oh yeah, I forgot to introduce myself, I am Ollie Garraway, a freshman who is both desirous and afraid of change. My life is not eventful, but also not as boring as I sometimes imagine. I want to get to know the world, and communicate with different people, make a lot of acquaintances and do crazy things. But my introverted nature does not allow that sociable person inside me to come out. Well, that's about it. I often overthink events and come up with complex and hypothetical situations that prevent me from doing things I truly want to do.
From day to day, my motto is "stressed, depressed, and not even well dressed." Certainly, that is a kind of exaggeration, but my mood swings are always there for me. You know those people who look very quiet, but when you get to know them better, you receive messages all day long, and you can discuss literally anything with them? I assume that I am one of them, or, at least, want to be.
In a couple of days, I am leaving my hometown and going on a lifelong adventure. How do I feel? To be honest, fear and inspiration, joy, and all the universal sadness are mixed inside of me. I don't know what to expect, but everyone around me keeps saying that college years are the best period in one's life. Also, this is a chance to try everything and understand who you are. I hardly believe it, since I am moving far from home, having no connections in that new and unknown world. But everything that’s done is done for the best, isn’t that what they say?
The mere thought that I have no idea when I will come home again makes me sad. I adore my small town, where everything is so familiar and dear, where is the most delicious food, and where the smell in a tiny shop with sweets takes me many years ago when I could not decide which candies I wanted more. In this place are the most beautiful sunsets, which I always admire from my window and dream about my future achievements and experiences.
There, all friends will remain in my memory as those with whom I lived the brightest school moments. Although we all will have different paths, I will always hope that we would cherish what we had. Of course, nothing will be the same, but I genuinely want to believe that none of us dares to turn 17 years of friendship into memories that will sweep away like autumn leaves from the light wind of change. We will probably outgrow each other, and I will always have bittersweet feelings when reminiscing on the moments of our youth.
I have decided to bring a small gift to my friend and wrote a letter, thanking for being with me through thick and thin. We have divergent academic strengths and will be studying in different places, but agreed to chat every day. Probably, that sounds naive, but this is what makes me feel a bit more confident when looking ahead. This thought is like an anchor that will prevent me from getting lost in the sea of boundless events. It’s always been hard for me to meet other people, and it takes time to start feeling comfortable around them. That’s why I value friendship to a greater extent than my buddies do. Sad, but true.
My partner in crime and my best friend in the world, Charlie, and I, have experienced many situations, where our connection was tested. Some of them, like when she betrayed me for other more popular classmates, have almost led to the complete disappearance of chances to get back what we’ve had before. Luckily, we became close again, but her choices will always remain in my memory, recalling that, in the first place, I should be my own soulmate.
During the last day back at home, I felt weird because I wasn't sure that everything needed was packed, and probably checked my bags around 100 times. I was worried about the road and my first days there. It is often when you meet new people, and they ask you to say something about yourself. I honestly hate this "tradition" because right at the moment I hear this question, I forget everything and simply say random things, trying to improve the situation. In these cases, I always feel some sort of pressure and want to scream: "My name is Ollie, and I'm not dumb, I just need time to figure out who I am!"
I promised myself not to cry before leaving. But when I headed to the car, my eyes filled with tears, and I couldn't say a single word because I had a lump in my throat. After a lovely farewell, I sat down in the back seat and smiled. On the car radio played one of my favorite songs, "On Top Of The World" by Imagine Dragons. Yeah! Ollie Garraway is going on an adventure, hoping that everything will be fine because this is the only way.