Diary of a Freshman: Going home for the weekend

Courtesy of Caitlin Tran

Courtesy of Caitlin Tran

Sometimes the past is not really the past. I learned this lesson last weekend.

I decided to go home for the weekend because my friend was in town and we had made plans to go to our favorite event of the year: Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Since the beginning of high school, we had gone together. 

I was so excited when I entered through the gates into the park. I took one step into the park and felt this feeling of nostalgia take over.

I thought, “I’m home, I’m finally back- it’s been too long”.

We started walking around and my friend said, “Check Snapchat, ________ is here.”

I responded with, “Oh yeah, she’s still in high school.”

I thought nothing of the Snapchat, I thought it was not important. Then, out of nowhere, the aforementioned girl appeared and attacked my friend with hugs. It was so surreal and weird. We shared those awkward pleasantries one does with an acquaintance and then we headed on our own way. It would not be the first encounter like that of the night.

We ran into a group of juniors from my high school who I worked with on the student newspaper who I genuinely knew and liked. That was another reminder of high school. Everyone around me started to seem so young and small. I no longer felt nostalgic, but like I was watching a recording from the past.

When I got into line for the main attraction, the American Horror maze, it, ironically, was ruined by me repeatedly running into someone from my high school who I thought was long gone from my life. Unfortunately, this person brings up memories from my past I do not want to relive or think about it.

My friends and I kept trying to avoid the inevitable acknowledgment of her but eventually we did, and it was fine. I did not enjoy it, but I realized it all seemed so trivial. The rest of the night continued. I slept at my friend’s house and spent the next day and night at my house. It felt so good to shower without shower shoes and sleep in a queen sized bed, not my lofty twin bed!

Anyways, the point of my weekend- and this blog- was the importance of realizing that things will never be the same so (1) I should not try to relive the past and (2) things from my past will continue to haunt me unless I confront them head on. The weekend reminded me of a lot of good times in high school and, unfortunately, bad times as well.

“But will they ever disappear? Did I make a mistake in not leaving Los Angeles? When will new memories replace old ones? Am I ever going to move on with my life?”

I do not have the answers to these questions. I thought it was all in the past, but it is not. College just started and so it is okay to still have these fond memories of high school. I just want a fresh start and, for now, I have to leave certain things in the past, whether that be HHN or driving past a certain street. Right now, I’m in college and there are so many great opportunities and people to meet.

I left my home Sunday afternoon with a new haircut; I completely chopped my hair off. I was sad to leave behind my bed and dog, but it was the first time I embraced my new identity and reality: a college student who’s living in the moment and letting the past go.