The entire day was like that: a powerful awakening of whom and what I would truly miss. I became sentimental about saying good-bye to many people I had taken for granted—the regulars who came into the restaurant where I worked, the ones I never seemed to find time to speak with. I had to leave all of my friends and also the classmates I had always intended to "get to know someday." Most importantly, I would be forced to say farewell to the ones who raised me.
All at once, the glorious hype about becoming independent and free became my sole, scary reality. I began to feel the pressure of all my big talk about being a big shot going to a big-time school. Big deal. I had waited so impatiently for the day to arrive, and now that it finally had, I felt as if I did not want to go. I suppose that goes with the territory of enrolling in a university six hours from home.
Upon my decision to do so, in fact, all of my personal problems had seemed to fade. I didn't care; I was leaving. I wanted to make it clear to everyone that I wanted to go—and by God, I was ready. Then the day came, and I wondered if I was honestly ready to go.
My dad and stepmom were taking me to school, but first I had to say good-bye to my mom. No one ever said divorce was easy. I met Mom for brunch that morning, and she immediately began talking of my future experiences. More so, she talked a little of her first year away from home—cluttered dorm, shy...