Goodbye, Drake.

It’s the weekend before finals. The library’s packed. All the seats in the local coffee shops are taken. People poke their heads out of their books only to cross-reference something or nibble on their snack. Serious studying is happening.

And here I sit, at the kitchen table at the Drake, “studying.” While I suppose it’s true that I’m making progress – I’m making flashcards for my test on Wednesday – all I can really seem to think about is how soon this place will be gone.

Over the course of the year, I’ve often thought, “This is it.” While I’m still going to be in school for one more year – I’m getting my Master’s degree here – many of my friends won’t be. My brilliant friends at the Drake – all engineering students too – are graduating on Sunday. I’m ever so proud of them – they’re going on to do bigger and better things: work at a huge company, go to graduate school, get their PhD’s. And while I love it here and am happy that I’m staying, I feel like a piece of me is disappearing with them as they walk across the stage to get their diplomas this weekend.

Up until this point I’ve been successful at pushing it out of my mind. “Future Sarah can deal with it,” I’d say. “Right now I’m just going to enjoy each moment as it comes.” But a few nights ago, I realized that I am Future Sarah. There’s no putting it off; the inevitable is here. My friends are packing up their rooms, and soon, this won’t be their house anymore.

This house and these people have been my refuge, my strong place. I’ve laughed here, cried here, and spent countless evenings talking late into the night with some of my best friends. I’ve studied at this table, fallen asleep on the couches, cooked dinner for everyone in the kitchen I don’t know how many times. We’ve celebrated, we’ve mourned, we’ve goofed around and had the college experience of a lifetime. This house is more home to my than my own apartment, than probably anywhere in the world right now. And in a few short weeks, it will no longer be ours.

We can come back – we can drive by, wave to “The Drake.” But we won’t be able to stop by and watch Mad Men on the huge TV, or bake brownies together, or just say hi to our friends. This house will become someone else’s, will become more.

And that’s what I have to remind myself: as much as it feels like it now, this is not the end. This house will hold new life, and we as friends will evolve, too.

These next two weeks will be full of more smiles and more tears as we say goodbye. But this goodbye is not forever; it’s just for now. And I’m going to savor every second I have with this house and these people; I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.

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