Where the Last Two Years of My Life Went

Michaela Korges, Cactus Writer

In the beginning, there was paperwork. I sat in the A building of the Maricopa campus two years ago and applied to CAC as a dual-enrollment high schooler. Now that I am ready to graduate in December, I can safely say that I had no idea what I was getting into.

Two years ago, I thought sleep was something that made your brain function better. Now I know that it is just hours of your life that are wasted on something other than homework.

Two years ago, I thought getting a job was something that all functioning adults did. Now I look at my friends who are trying to work and take seventeen credits at the same time and I genuinely and deeply fear for their well-being.

Two years ago, I judged people for wearing workout clothes to an academic institution. Now I rotate through my three most formal pairs of sweatpants around finals week. I have also learned that lip balm is a full-face of makeup.

I am trying so hard to celebrate my little victory, but all I can focus on is the next mission. I will more than likely need to get a bachelor’s degree in order to live with any sort of comfort, and I am panicking trying to find the money to pay for that monstrosity. As I shudder in fear and retreat to my blanket fort, I wonder what made me take on college in the first place.

That is when I remember the sixteen-year-old girl enrolling in college just to get her parents off her back. She looks at the end of the list of requirements and wonders how long it will take to get her degree. There is no “if” in her mind, only “when”.

Two years later I guess the day has come when I can allow myself to fantasize about walking in a cap and gown. Although I must admit, I fantasize about the sleep I’ll get during winter break more.