Accepting moving on hardest part of growing up

ASHTON JOHNSON
Co-Executive Editor

A few weeks ago, my mom and I were sitting on my bed laughing and talking about the event she had just attended.

After we talked and she left the room, my heart began to feel heavy and tears began to fill my eyes. To keep myself from letting the tears fall, I told myself “I have plenty of time to cry later.”

If there is one thing I’ve realized in the last week, it is that being a sophomore at a community college is a lot like being a senior in high school.

In August my life will forever change. Receiving my acceptance letter to Texas Tech University, signing a lease on my very first apartment and scheduling orientation has been such an exciting experience so far.

It’s been convenient to wrap up all the emotions I don’t want to face in a box and put it on the top shelf of my mind, telling myself that I’ll go through it eventually. After all, I have plenty of time.

Except I’m starting to realize that I don’t. March slipped through my fingers and now it’s April. The semester is coming to an end and graduation is just a little less than a month away. It has all turned into an exciting, emotional and scary experience.

I believe that is why I am writing this column: writing this means I have to confront the changes in my life.

It’s hard for me to accept that I soon won’t wake up in my own bedroom. I won’t make the 15-minute drive home every day. I won’t be able to have “Monday night dinner’” at El Sombrero. I won’t spend my hours after school working on The Flare or teaching dance. I won’t even have the opportunity to see my youngest brother go to his first day of kindergarten.

Downtown Kilgore will become a place I only go during breaks, instead of a daily destination. KC will become just buildings where I used to spend all of my time. The friendships I’ve built over the last two years will be reduced to Facebook wall posts, phone calls and visits every few months.

In some ways, it’s not really fair that college requires this kind of sacrifice. You have to trade in one life to get a new one.

Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy with the decision I have made. Texas Tech is beautifully situated in the heart of Lubbock. It offers an excellent communications program and the people I’ve met share my enthusiasm. Even though it is a seven-hour drive home, Tech has everything I have ever wanted out of a university.

I have this clear picture in my mind of what I expect the next two years to be, but I can’t help but think more about what I’ll miss and the new changes I have to make.

I’ll be thrust into adulthood even though, right now, I’m still tackling the problems of a young adult. That’s the fear none of us want to acknowledge: the impending idea  of embracing our passion and letting go of our comforts. I love the world of journalism, but knowing that it is soon to turn into more than just extracurricular is daunting.

I start to ask myself: Is this what I want to do? Am I cut out for this? In two years, will I be better?

I believe that the answer to those questions is yes. Yes, I’ll be good enough because I know that this is what I want. My life will change, but if we always stayed the same, we would never move forward.

I have to accept the fact that from now on my life will be constantly changing. I have to believe that all this change will be for the best.

Ashton Johnson is a sophomore communication major from Kilgore.