Written by Marisol Flores
My back hurts from this lumpy mattress. My white flipflops are now brown thanks to the communal bathrooms. My head hurts from the girls next door who keep me awake until 5 in the morning. On the bright side my skin is clearer. My hair no longer falls out as much and unlike everyone else I have this whole “living away from home” thing on lock.
Just another typical Monday morning. I wake up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and do my makeup. Finally I leave for class. My morning walk to class is and has been my favorite part of the day since IMSA. I love the chill you get when you walk outside on a spring morning with no coat on. Feeling the sun kiss your face good morning. Smelling the dew filled air. It’s all so peaceful.
I get to class right on time. I have my timing down to an art so that I never arrive early nor late. I go through classes as usual. Walking to class, my headphones are in, I’m looking forward, and of course I’m concentrating on not tripping over my own shoes as I often do. But wait I forgot something!
Was it my glasses?! I fling my hands to my face but to my luck I end up slapping myself on the side of the head. I wore my contacts. I stop at a bench and look inside my book bag but all my books are there. I quickly rush to the bathroom and check the mirror. My reflection shows a more put together and made up girl than the one I used to know at IMSA. So if I didn’t forget my contacts, books, hair, or makeup what DID I forget?
I know I forgot something because I have this empty feeling at the pit of my stomach. I try to drink water and it does nothing. I eat a little bit-still no luck. So what did I forget? After my classes I run back to my room and search for the missing item. At night I lay awake with that feeling slowly taking over my entire body.
I turn to face my roommate who’s fast asleep. She is one of my best friends. I honestly do not know what I would do if I didn’t have her in my life. Then I start thinking. I begin getting hot, my face turning red and tears begin spilling out of my eyes as if it were Niagara Falls. All of a sudden it all makes sense.
I can’t find what is missing and will never find what is missing. Even though we said we are all going to stay friends I knew we wouldn’t. I’m not naïve and stupid I know how the real world works. People leave, move on, and things are never going to be the same.
In all hopes of making you dodge this terrible aching pain that keeps me awake at night: please, please be prepared to lose your friends. IMSA students are talented human beings but even greater friends. I promise that you will be confronted with making friends that will drop everything just to make you happy when you’re having a bad day. Friends who will laugh at you when you fall down the stairs. Friends that will cry with you when your family goes through a terrible loss. Friends that will eat ice cream with you when your first boyfriend breaks up with you. Friends that will listen to your every rant. Friends that will laugh with you when you’re being stupid. Friends that will hold your hand when you’re scared. Friends that you will love more than yourself.
Letting go of these people will be harder than I could have ever imaged. Please be prepared to lose your friends, the friends of a lifetime. Be prepared because when you graduate you’re left empty. No matter how much I will try and fill it with food, books, and reruns of How I Met your Mother, nothing will fix this feeling. For all of those broken hearts out there, just know you’re not alone. Maybe this empty feeling will go away but if it doesn’t, at least I have the memories of a lifetime. Thank you to all my friends that have been there for me for the past three years. I just wanted you to know that in my heart you will always have a home.