It is dread.
I actually dread leaving for college tomorrow.
Why, do you ask? After all, it’s not like I haven’t left for college before; heck, this is my fourth and—supposed to be—senior year. (I have two years left...perhaps more.) It’s not like I haven’t been away from home before, and it’s not like I haven’t previously transferred to another school.
Rather, I dread leaving because I think that I have made a mistake.
It is not a grave one; it is not one that I can never fix. However, I realize now—a bit too late, as always—that I should have listened to my intuition. (You know, the part I usually listen to?) No. This past spring I tried to think logically...and now I’m regretting it.
Sadly, I tried to tell myself that I would not regret my decision to leave Purdue. I tried to convince myself that it would be okay that I wasn’t going back. I openly vocalized that I hated everything about Purdue, and that things would be much smoother, more enjoyable—not to mention cheaper—at the University of Iowa. I really did focus on the negatives then...except this time, I did it because I needed to; I needed to try and convince myself that it was unnecessary, illogical, and too expensive to go back.
I should have listened to myself, not what everyone else was trying to tell me; not what I was forcing myself to think.
I should have stayed.
I think of this now, a year after I left for Purdue...the first time. I was devastated when I had to come back; I had been looking forward to attending there several months beforehand. Had the circumstances been different in January, I’m sure that I would have been just as enthused to be there. However, I let those emotions bury what should have been a great semester. After all, I loved being away from home. I loved the opportunities I had there; I loved knowing that I wasn’t grounded to Treynor, Iowa. I also loved campus; I did from the very first time I visited. Furthermore, I really did enjoy some of my classes—Italian was fantastic, and I certainly learned a lot of information in Linguistics. Yes, my World Literature class was terrible...but then again, what could I expect? I had a foreign TA who could barely speak English and classmates who were so naïve that they did not bother to learn the correct pronunciations of the authors we read. (That class was bound to be my most hated from the beginning.)
Are there downfalls to Purdue? Certainly. Is their financial aid department a bureaucracy? Of course. Have a lot of people I know gotten screwed out of classes or degrees or money because of the way Purdue has “done things?” Most definitely.
Most colleges are that way, sadly.
And, unfortunately, the “bad” things are all I have seen of Iowa so far. It’s disappointing; especially since I knew in June that I had made a mistake. The day I set foot on the campus and registered for classes, I knew I wasn’t happy.
My mom and I started packing the cars this morning. After filling my trunk with boxes, we shoved what textbooks, linens, and miscellaneous items I have into the back seat.
I opened the driver’s side door, sat down in the seat and grabbed a hold of the steering wheel.
“Can you see out the back all right?” my mom asked. I knew she was concerned about anything blocking my view. After all, in January, we had fit everything—including a mini fridge and two humans—into one car. (It was so crammed that my mom found it necessary to drive in order to fight off the claustrophobia she felt in the backseat.)
I checked the review mirror, noticing that some of my bedding could be seen in the reflection. I then looked over my right shoulder, then my left, double-checking to make sure that nothing was obstructing my view. “Nope, I’m fine,” I concluded.
“Okay. Thought I would check.” My mom moved from her position and started towards the house, slowly making her way up the trio of back steps.
I got out of the driver’s seat and pushed the door shut. “At least I’m not driving ten hours away, anymore,” I said.
“Yeah!” my mom exclaimed, even though she is aware of my regret and insists that I need to do what I think is right. “I’m glad that we don’t have to do that anymore! That was too long!” She opened the back door and allowed it to slam shut behind her.
Left standing next to the car, I dropped my head down and sighed. “It was worth it,” I whispered.