hide-obara-233Take a moment to stop and smell the roses, pull in a little bit of that December air. Do you smell that?

That is the beautiful aroma of freedom.

This morning I finished my last final for the quarter, quite possibly my last chemistry class ever, and it was fantastic. Just like that, another quarter is behind me; it took me a second to realize that this quarter really flew by. Between my classes and working along with trying to be more social this year, it’s been a pretty busy last couple months.

I’ve joined a few more groups on campus, committed more to a future I want, and improved my work ethic (at least I’d like to think so), all in a quarter’s work. After weeks of running after buses and 8-10pm classes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year— we are heading off towards the holidays.

Just in time to get my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday.

baim-hanif-89800Now that I’ve been out of high school for a year and one quarter at Cal Poly, I am constantly reminded of the responsibilities that are headed my way. From paying utility bills and gas to keeping up with deadlines and schoolwork while working, the adulting process has only just begun.

But that’s how it always is though isn’t it, we finish one thing just to start another. Just because I finished my 50,000 words last week doesn’t mean I’m done with the book; not quite yet. There’s always more to do and another challenge around the next corner.

That’s not to say we can’t still  celebrate the good things while we can.

And well, today I just want to celebrate the fact that Nick and I are home now only to turn around and head for Reno— Kris graduates tomorrow. I’m only in year two of my college experience, yet I can imagine what it feels like to be in his shoes. Getting through undergrad, the people and the stress, the tests and the work, to finally make it to the speeches and the graduation gown orders to walk across that stage and do the one thing we started all of this to do. To graduate.

kalen-emsley-99660It’s that idea of accomplishment, of reaching a new chapter or change and knowing where we started to get there. Take the recent TIMES articles, both the women and the men who raised their voices to what became #metoo. Those are our people of the year, can you believe it? If you take a look back on where the attitudes towards women or sexual assault started, society has come so far from letting bad things happen without fighting back, from not working towards something better.

That’s what we’re all doing isn’t it? Every day we make a change, we get up in the morning, and we work towards a better tomorrow. It’s why we go to school or we get jobs; it’s something like graduation or the changes we see in TIMES is so important— that is the better tomorrow.

It can only ever be what we make it.

This is the last month of the year, the final chance to cross those yearly bucket lists off before we start a new one, committing to go to the gym five days a week or taking better care of ourselves. Here’s the thing: the more you set future deadlines for the things you want to do, the things you deserve to do for yourself, the more time you leave between you and your goals.

So why not now? Go for a run tomorrow or reconnect with those people you’ve been meaning to catch up with all year. Live a life that you can be sure is yours, every single day. Make your change.

ahmed-saffu-217918Because I finished my second set of fall quarter finals today— I only get two more of those (so sad right?). Time will keep passing, people will keep coming and going, and life will keep on changing as I make my way towards my own graduation day; before I have no choice but to join the adult world and play my cards all in. For now, I think I’m okay with staying where I am, in celebrating Kris’s last four years of hard work while we cheer him on from our seats tomorrow. I’ve still got a little time and now, it’s my turn to appreciate someone else’s.

So happy holidays to everyone, and here’s to those heading towards finals of their own: good luck, study hard, and please don’t forget to sleep.

And hey, don’t forget to smell the roses, the aroma of freedom just a breath away.


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