There’s T-minus six months until the class of ‘21 leaves for college!

As we pack the last of our supplies, don our helmets, and strap ourselves in tight, this crowd of university-bound astronauts anticipates blasting off into an entirely new atmosphere. While we may look forward to hurtling past burning stars and vast galaxies faster than the speed of light, I’m here to deliver this sobering but necessary reminder — space is lonely. Our journey will be lonely, at least at first. Many of us will be leaving our parents for the first time, and though most of us likely consider this a perk, I urge everyone reading to take a deep breath and cool your jets for a moment. Savor these last months with your parents. Give them a little appreciation, because soon enough you’ll be on your way, heading towards a different planet and a different sort of life. 

I, for one, am scared out of my wits to do so. My parents have been such an enormous part of my development as a person that I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that I’ll be thousands of miles away from them. I won’t be able to just scamper into the kitchen if I want history help from my dad; I won’t be able to go grab Lanikai Juice with my mom after school. And honestly, I’m devastated. I’ll miss this era of my life. I’ll miss going to the park with Dad for workouts, and seeing Mom sprint over hills just to catch me at every single corner of the cross-country course. I’ll miss sitting with my family at church and listening to my dad’s sermons. I’ll really miss our dinner table conversations about Ancient Mesopotamia to biological nanoconstructs and everything in between. 

At the same time, though, I know it’s time to go. I’ve been growing up, taking up a little more space than my current restrictions can accommodate. I’m ready for high school to end, even if I’ll miss some things. And I think that’s healthy. It’s okay to know you’re both ready and sad to leave. At some point, every spaceman (or woman) has to climb into his or her rocket and press that big red button. My point today, though, is to do that with a sense of gratitude for those that have prepared you, and to spend time with them, and to be kind to them before you go. That’s what I’m going to do. Afterwards, I’ll go and find others to talk about Ancient Mesopotamia with. I’ll explore what independence has to offer — sampling new restaurants with college friends and staying out without curfew, diving into postmodernist texts, analyzing the effects of climate change on Amazonian fauna, anything that piques my interest. But until then (and, of course, during every Christmas and summer break), I’m going to thank God for blessing me with my mom and dad and enjoy their company.