What Now: Happy Melancholy

3 minutes
Erik Charlson is Oklahoma Today's spring intern. Each week, in What Now, he'll take us on his journey learning about Oklahoma and navigating an uncertain future.

If there's been a theme running through my blog as Oklahoma Today's spring intern, it's probably transitions.

Sitting at this crossroads is both scary and exciting. At times this has been overwhelming, but I've managed my emotions on the matter and pressed on. As my graduation looms, just two weeks to go, I'm thinking more about what I'll miss, rather than what is next.

One problem with planning for your future is you sometimes get so caught up in what's coming that you forget to hold on to what you have, and that's certainly true for my days as a student. I have been counting them down instead of cherishing them.

I have a newfound nostalgia for the place I have inhabited the past few years and I haven’t even left yet. When they say college flashes by in a second, they aren't lying. It really does. It is odd to me how time can seem to stand still as you mull through the responsibilities, but once it is all over we ask, where did all the time go? The hours have been lost in several memories I have made and continue to make even as the end draws near.

Even now, as aware as I am of my upcoming exit, I am still trying to ignore how close it truly is. Walking to class, I am more aware of my surroundings—little things like the school bells or watching the same crowds of my peers crossing campus. Some of them probably have years left at OU and I both envy and pity them. And here is me, still stuck in my personal crossroads, just as I was when I began this internship. And I still relish my life of conflict.

I hope to find the happiness in my next steps as I did at the University of Oklahoma. I am thankful for the people I met and the experiences I had, and those will continue to be a part of who I am long after I'm gone. I remember entering college, how nervous and exciting it was, and seeing myself prepare to leave is surreal and rewarding. I like who I have turned into. I hope to keep my evolution going.

I have always heard people say college is a time to find out "who you really are," and I agree with it to some extent. But college can't be the end. I just don’t ever see myself being done with growing. There just might be too much to figure out.

Written By
Erik Charlson

Erik Charlson
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