One of the struggles that college grads face is learning how to leave behind the care free college life and to make a new life wherever they end up. College was a time in life where you were surrounded by friends and there always was something to do. For many college grads, that life no longer is an option and it is time to be, a dare I say it, "grownup."
When I was accepted to Shippensburg University I was excited to move away and start a new life for myself. I was born and raised in Williamsport and it was a dream of mine to see what else is out there. In college, things seemed to go great. I had lots of friends and always was up to something. I would travel around the area, shop or just hang out with people all the time. I stopped coming home to spend more time with my friends in Ship. I had it set in my mind that I was going to stay in the Ship area and keep this life I made for myself. I loved it so much that I didn't want to give it up.
Unfortunately my plan didn't work out and reality hit me. I had to let go of the college life and I moved back to Williamsport after graduation. I am lucky enough to have had a job, which I worked during my college breaks, and was welcomed back with open arms. I also am grateful to have parents who also welcomed me back home to live with them. I then thought I might be able to make a life here with the friends I had in high school, while I hunted for a job in my field of study.
Unfortunately I discovered that I didn't have as much in common with my high school friends that I thought. Many were still in college and were enjoying the college life of going to out and acting like they didn't have a care in the world.
Those friends seemed to be living the lifestyle that I had put behind me when I walked across that podium in May and accepted my diploma. I understand that they have a right to go out all the time and have fun, but it seemed that I had different priorities now.
Other friends I had lost touch with over the years seemed like strangers to me when I attempted to get in contact with them again.
It was not until then that I realized we had become different people in four years and we weren't the people we knew back in high school
Recently I traveled back to Shippensburg for homecoming and saw how different my friends in college were after six short months.
My best friend in college was offered at great job, after her first and only interview, and has been successful ever since. She now has her own place with her boyfriend and is on the way to marriage in a few years.
She is living the "grownup" life that I always pictured college grads having after graduation. Other college friends that were supposed to attend homecoming were called in to work last minute and were unable to attend. Proof that working is more of a priority than having fun after college.
The trip back to Ship made me realize how different things were after college. You leave most of you wild days behind you and take on responsibility as a grownup.
Now it is about balancing work and fun at the same time. You never realize how much you change and outgrow a place until you go back after a long period away.
Starting over is hard to do, but after college you have to finish that chapter and turn to the next unknown page.
Wright is a Shippensburg University graduate. Her column is published the last Monday of each month in the Education section.