Moving Forward

My heart sunk as I saw a bright yellow school bus sail down the street. Loaded with rambunctious laughter, mischievous grins, colorful backpacks, and small, inquisitive faces, the large vehicle sluggishly lurched down the streets, as if it itself were protesting the start of the school year. Could it be? Had school truly started? Hadn’t we students just been freed from its vice-like grip yesterday? Agonized by just the sight of it, I was wracked with all of these painfully deluded and desperate questions.

But the thing is, this is the first year of my academic career that I don’t have to depend on the trusty visits of a bus driver. As an incoming college freshman, I have the privilege of staying on campus, thereby eliminating the need of a bright yellow bus altogether. So if I do not fear sitting on their tall, rubbery seats this year, my distinct distaste of school buses may be unclear.

Just as the reddish hue that washes over verdant leaves at the start of autumn, the  school bus reminds me that nothing is eternal, beautiful, exciting, or undying, not even the long, lethargic days of summer. Those blissful occasions where I’d lounge in the sun’s rays until I was burned to a crisp have come to an end, leaving me perplexed and traumatized by the change.  At the start of a new academic year, I must now step away from the warm memories, shake off the remnants of a happy summer, and (dare I say it?) become a responsible and productive citizen once more.

Amidst summer, all of my days are covered in a sweet, clueless haze. In my tremendous freedom and  refreshing lack of obligation, the passage of time becomes meaningless. Is it Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday? Oh it’s Friday! Ah, but what does it matter! I careless wonder as I flip through the channels. In their endless warmth, lethargy, and splendor, summer days seem to blend together to become one continuous and wonderful day. But as the sun slowly begins its descent from the bright summer sky, promising obligation and a much colder night, one is left at a loss and frightened at the unexpected turn of events.

Where my days and activities were once unstructured and spontaneous in nature, order, discipline, responsibility shall hit with full force, forcing me to follow a rigid schedule, confront a rigorous course load, and effectively manage my time.  While I’m sure the existence of the full-time student pales in comparison to that of a working adult, it is the one I must face at the moment. But have no fear, for at the onset of adulthood, I shall be sure to document all of my insecurities, fears, and complaints at that time as well.

But until then, I must brace myself for the fall, for the colder and vastly more complex days ahead. I must behold the impending winter not with fear or anguish, but with renewed vigor and zeal for the challenges ahead. For if I always lived in a happy equilibrium, how could I ever push myself to move forward?

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