1. That moment when your friends are all together, doing nothing extraordinary besides enjoying one another’s company. And you look around, feeling incredibly grateful and simultaneously heartbroken that it will never be exactly this way ever again.
2. Walking back from class and stopping to say hello to various people sitting on front lawns or bar patios. And appreciating these special little interactions, while knowing there are only so many left.
3. When you walk by a building or area of campus where you spent a lot of time freshman year, and you start reminiscing on how much has changed since then – how much you’ve learned, how much you’ve went through, how much you’ve grown.
4. Spending most of your remaining days goofing off with your friends, instead of being productive or studying. And not feeling guilty about it at all. You know that won’t remember what you got on your sociology term paper, but you will remember sitting on the porch with your friends for 5 hours on that one Thursday afternoon.
5. Deciding to go out with your friends at the last minute, even though you have an exam the next morning, because you know there are few opportunities left for you to be able to do this.
6. Hearing advice from people about how life truly does go on after college, and knowing that they’re telling the truth but still having a really hard time believing them.
7. Walking around campus on a particularly beautiful day, and feeling a deep pressure in your chest that is both joyful and painful.
8. Remembering how awkward and unsure you were when you first got here, and thinking back on that insecure version of yourself with a knowing and highly amused smile.
9. When you feel tears well up in unexpected, ordinary moments, like when you walk to the nearby store with your best friend to grab a six pack, or you sit at your kitchen table with one of your roommates and shoot the shit for a couple hours. And you know that even though it’s random to get emotional in these types of situations, it’s also not, because these ordinary, special moments are the ones that made up your entire college experience.
10. Observing ridiculously cliched college things, like people reading books on blankets outside or throwing a frisbee around, and smiling because as cliched as it is, it’s also extremely real and true.
11. Looking around at all the random furniture in your house or apartment, and loving it all the more for how disorganized and mismatched and cluster-fucky that it is.
12. Feeling the blissful release that comes after finishing your last final or turning in your last paper, but knowing you only have so much time in-between this moment and the moment that you drive away from campus for the last time as a student.
13. Feeling a strange relief about your sadness, because you know that even though it’s painful, it means that you truly grew to love this place and you honestly felt like you found another home.
14. Stopping what you’re doing, only for a second, to watch all of your friends in this moment, to observe how happy they all are, and to let those feelings of thankfulness wash over you in order to help you to ease the anxiety that keeps churning in your stomach.
15. Looking at all the decorations in your room and loving the fact that instead of having a structured, well-designed adult living space, your walls are just covered with posters, banners, pictures, flyers, papers, t-shirts, postcards, notes, and other memorabilia that you’ve amassed over the past 4 years.
16. Being at the bar with your friends when that one song comes on that you’ve all been wanting to hear all night. And feeling the excitement and the energy that rushes through the bar as the song plays, while you watch everyone screaming the words and you know that this is just a special, special moment that you will not ever let go of.
17. Experiencing random, unexpected moments of disbelief where you look around and simply can’t believe that you’ve gotten this far. That you’re this person who’s done these things and taken these classes and gone to this school and made a life for yourself in this place.
18. Hating the fact that this will all be over too quickly, while simultaneously feeling a comforting sense of peace about the fact that you lived out every last moment and had a better experience than you could have ever imagined.