Years down the road when I think back to the time I spent at U of I, I wonder what will come to mind: the wonderful friends that I will walk away from this experience with, the times that I could not handle being in Champaign anymore, or the year I spent away. This weekend, two of my dearest friends came to visit, and having them hear created a type of collision of worlds that brought out a lot of emotions and memories that I don't think I've been dealing with adequately.
This year has been much better than the previous years at Illinois mostly because I think my time away left me refreshed and able to cope with a lot of things. Yet, I think of the friends I have made here, and while many of them are wonderful people that I enjoy spending my time with on campus, I am painfully aware of the fact that I can probably count on one hand the people I will stay in touch with after May. That is not to say that our friendships have not been meaningful, but I somehow feel like I have poured a lot into many of them without that effort being reciprocated. When feeling that way, it is difficult NOT to eventually start comparisons with the friendships I have with others. I always have shrived to remained the optimist when it comes to friendships--investing my time and energy in maintaining those that may be losing their luster but this optimism is frankly exhausting.
Maybe all of this will change, and even if it doesn't, I am 5 weeks away from starting a new chapter. There's so much here I want to hold onto, but I feel like at this point there is more sense in letting go.