I’m sitting here, tick tick tick, counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the moment I walk across the stage to receive my long-awaited diploma. It’s almost here. Ready or not, it will happen. There’s no postponing it, there’s no stopping it. Will it be a sad day, will it be an exciting day? I don’t really know and I won’t know until I’m in the moment. But I do know what it’s like right now. Exactly 3 weeks, 2 days and 20 hours away from walking into the theater in my navy blue cap and gown. It’s scary, it’s sad, it’s exciting, it’s every feeling you could possibly feel. I’m thinking back to my first days where I would cry getting on the bus in the morning to go to school. Now I’m crying thinking about getting on the plane to go to school. Back to my middle school days when I didn’t really care about my grades, but more about having fun. I think of all the fun I’m going to have on my new adventure. I remember my first day of high school, being extremely intimidated by the upper class-men and seniors, and I realize I’m going to be in that exact same place stepping foot onto my college campus as a freshman, again. I reminisce about all the memories I’ve made with my swim team, my second family. It’s only going to get better, and I imagine that I will soon find a new family with my college team. I’m thinking about right now; right now in this very moment. It will go fast, everyone said. Don’t forget to stop and appreciate it every once in a while, they said. I always took that into consideration, but also never fully took it into consideration. It went by so fast. I was just a first grader, then I was just a middle schooler and a freshman and now I’m here, 572 hours before it’s all done. I can only move forward in one way, with no regrets. No regrets for anything, even my mistakes. Because thinking back on it now, out of my lowest of times came my highest of moments. Am I ready to move on? Am I prepared to take on the “real world”? Whatever my answer is doesn’t matter, it’s going to happen. All I can do now is be thankful, thankful for all the people who got me here; friends, teachers, coaches, and family. Thankful for the moments that brought me joy and the times that made me grow as a person. While I don’t feel ready to leave, to move on and start a new journey, it’s going to happen and I am as prepared as I will ever be. 3 weeks, 2 days and 20 hours. Tick tick tick, it’s almost time.