20 Something: Closet Cleaning after Grad

Today I finally took the boxes of random stuff out of my car. These boxes had been in the backseat since I cleaned out my old closet at my grandparents’ house when they prepared to move. That was months ago. This is the first chance I’ve really had to go through all those boxes of high school memorabilia.

First order of business was the cardboard box actually labelled High School Stuff. First, out went the gown (though after some deliberation I did keep the cap, though I will probably discard it next year when I am sure I’ll do this closet cleaning again). I now have a college gown, so there’s no need for the high school one, right?

I threw out most of that box: old awards and report cards mostly. I found some cool stuff though: old clippings of my articles from the school newspaper, a letter of recommendation from my favorite English teacher, posters from my high school shows. Some things I kept so I can take them out and reminisce again next year, but most things found their way into the big black garage bag.

In the next box of memories, I found some college stuff. Specifically, some Stony Brook stuff. SBU was my first college, and leaving there nearly broke my heart. Although I obtained my degree from the University of Central Oklahoma this Saturday, it wasn’t until my last year there that I really began to regard it as my school. Part of me still feels that I should have walked across the stage in bright red instead of dark blue.

This was driven home again when I found my acceptance letter to Stony. I didn’t keep the one from UCO. I was part of the graduating class for UCO’s 125th year, but I don’t have any clothing or decals representing the Bronchos, either. Yet, I still have a multi-colored t-shirt, red and gray pullover, and black sweatpants all declaring that Stony Brook was established in 1957. Hell, I was wearing the Seawolves pullover in my UCO student I.D. photo.

stony acceptance

It still baffles me how my college experience turned out. I cried when I got my Stony acceptance because I thought the cost would be beyond me (despite the generous scholarships I was offered–none from UCO, though). That’s probably why I kept it. Stony was everything I wanted, but I gave it up to come home–due to finances mostly.

I have met some great people in the three years at UCO, and I ended up enjoying my English-creative writing studies over the more prestigious journalism program at Stony. I can’t say I have no regrets about the transfer, but I suppose either way the degree is just a piece of paper saying I pulled through somewhere. With honors. Eh, UCO wasn’t so bad. But now, it’s time to stop focusing on the past (high school, Stony Brook, UCO) that’s all over. Onward and upward.

yup, that's an honor cord

yup, that’s an honor cord

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