I began writing on this blog in earnest following my high school graduation. It was an amazing summer me. The summer was filled with travel. There was my graduation trip to Maui with my best friend from high school, Shawna. Then there was my graduation trip to my grandparents in Albuquerque, New Mexico only to be followed by the graduation trip to my other parents in Lincoln, Nebraska. And all that summer, I was dealing with the excitement and anxiety of leaving home for the first time in my life to attend school at Stanford.
That all was made easier when, as I was moving into my dorm room, I heard the sweet, soft voice the Southern California girl who was to be my dormmate. Through our counselor, we had had a chance to get acquainted via e-mail and the telephone. for the previous month.
"Kasey?" she asked as she stood in the doorway.
":Hi Dormie!" I blurted out. I almost can pinpoint that as the moment I knew she would be my best friend for the next four years (and I hope beyond). Sometimes you just get that feeling.
I'm not going to sit here and recap the past four years. Frankly over that time, I've studied my ass off. While sure, I enjoyed the recreational side of attending college, it's been all about studying and learning. As it turns out, I was correct about something on that first day I moved into that dorm room.
Julie and I are the best of friends.
I cherish that. Just by being there and going through the same things, she made the adjustment to being away from home more than bearable. It turns out we're a lot alike and that really helped us connect. We shared a dorm room again for sophomore year. After a year as a resident assistant and she living in an apartment with three other girls for junior year, we decided to become roommates for our final year as undergraduates. It's been the best year of the four and I would not have traded it for anything.
As I waved goodbye to my parents and baby sister as they drove away that first day in my new home tears streamed down my face as the reality of me not being home for dinner that night hit me like a speeding bulldozer. It was to be over two months until I would see them again.
Julie and I made our way around campus over the next few days. We learned where all the important places were; restaurants, meeting places and even our classes. It was those hours when we really got to know each other well. We learned the little things which made the other tick. We had fun. We laughed a lot.
There were two girls across the hall who were developing a similar friendship to Julie and I. The four of us hung out when we found the time. A lot of these were study times. This isn't my strength when it comes to studying; I'm much more effective when I'm working on my own. However, it was nice to get the differing opinions from each of them.
I always felt fortunate that I have a brother nearby. In these four years, his life has changed in many impactful ways. I first had met Carla, his then-girlfriend, when he brought her up to my high school graduation party. Two months later when I visited them at their San Francisco apartment during my return trip from Nebraska, they had become engaged. I had a meeting with my counselor at that time, so I stayed with them.
A year later, they were married. Shortly after that, they bought their first house. Just over 13 months ago, they had their first child, a daughter named Amanda. My niece. Over these four years of attending college, I've had the privilege of being able to come up for a weekend to get away from things. it's been invaluable. Jessica, my younger sister of two years, has had that same privilege as she attends Cal-Berkeley.
There have been hiccups. Relationships gone bad. Relationships gone well. I don't know what the future holds for Alex and I. We've dated for 15 months now and I'm blessed to have found a man so understanding and caring. My fear is that distance will drive us apart as we go further with our lives -- he into professional life and me into law school.
All areas of my life have completed circles over these four years. Yet, I don't feel I'm back where I started. I am very much the same and at the same time, very much different.
There are parts of my life, background and personality I strive to keep a hold of. Despite that, I know I have to grow and become the person I am intended to become. That means continuing to mature and become more responsible. That's the change I feel within myself. I'm a stronger ... wait, much stronger person than I was on that day I was dropped off in front of my freshman dorm.
So now that I have gone through my commencement in my two majors (History and Political Science). I think of the past four years and my dedication and desire to attend this university. It really is the best of the best and I am honored to have attended Stanford.
I shall miss this place. I shall miss my best friend, who will start medical school in the fall. I shall miss the myriad of friends I've met along the way. I shall miss my counselor who has made my life so easy here over the past four years.
As I reflect on these past four years, I can do nothing but smile. My life could not be better. What I've learned over these quick four years has prepared me for my next step in life. I'm thankful for that. As I go off to law school in August, I will think fondly of all of what has helped me prepare for it.
They say life goes on. It should. It must. I know there are many triumphs, tragedies and wonders which await me.
As I look back on these quick four years, I also look forward.