Thursday was my last day as a college student at Luther College.
I entered Luther naive, scared to death, lacking confidence, and not wanting to leave home.
I eventually made a solid set of friends with my freshman floormates.
I was sad to leave them at the end of that year. Unfortunately, many of the friendships (except for two) were pretty superficial. We fell out of touch the next year. I ended up living with a great roomie Sophomore year. But I was second-guessing my decision to be an Education major.
I desperately wanted to be back at home as a Nursing major and tried my hardest to force myself into despising Luther and going back to a Community college in my hometown.
No matter how hard I tried I couldn't do that. I knew in my heart Luther was my home and I needed to make it work. And make it work as a Nursing major I did. Junior year was hard. I had to develop a new set of friendships.
I was happy to be home for the summer though. My senior year was one to be remembered. I loved living with some of my best Nursing friends (from 2 years ahead of me in the program) and had a great time. However, it was strange being the same age as these girls, yet being 2 years behind them in the program. I couldn't really relate to what they were going through. I still thoroughly enjoyed the whole year though! Even when the December grads finished, the new group of girls who moved in were super cool.
I even went on the trip of a lifetime to Nashville with some of these girls!
However, the people I should have been getting close to - my actual Nursing class - I felt the furthest from.
Graduation came and even though I was super excited to be walking, I knew I still had 1.5 of the hardest years ahead of me.
Then I was able to live at home the next year for our year at Mayo Clinic in the Nursing program. What started out as one of the scariest years of my life and feeling like I didn't know anyone in my Nursing class turned out to be one of the most rewarding, fun, and best years of my life. I became super close to my class and what we experienced together will never be forgotten.
Coming back senior year, I was super hesitant. I only knew my Nursing class at Luther. No one else. They became my lifelines this last semester. I became so close to each and everyone of them and love them all so much. I miss my Nursing class, my professors, the campus, the vibe, the feeling of knowing where I am in my life and what Luther is to me.
These last 5 days have been extremely emotional. Wednesday afternoon, I was packing up my bags and wheeling them to the living room, the sun was setting its purple and pink hues like it always does at Luther, and "The House That Built Me" came on. I burst into tears. Thursday, I went to say goodbye to my professors, specifically my Med/Surg professor who has taught me so much this semester. I thought I got all my tears out. I started talking to her and burst into tears again.
But there's something she told me that is getting me through this adjustment period...
Luther will always be home.
I can always come back and, even though it might not be the same Luther I am used to, the feeling of Luther and what it brings me will always remain.
I am leaving Luther confident in myself and what I know, well-educated, not so naive, and with a group of friends and supporters who I know I will be connected with years down the road.
..now I just need to get myself a job...