Here we are, just a few weeks left of school, and I’m that senior who is and isn’t ready to graduate. I find myself lying awake at night reflecting upon my college experience and my transition from the lower east side of Manhattan to the lower West Coast. California and my experience, at Pepperdine are the reasons I can’t and don’t want to sleep.
I am New York City born and raised. But after four years of living on the waves and the beaches of Malibu, California has won my heart. I’m not going back to the East Coast anytime soon.
You can name any place within 111 miles, and I can pretty much guarantee you that I’ve fallen in love with it, visited it or have plans to go do it: visiting Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, attempting to hike the Hollywood sign, going to Las Vegas and now finding my mains on main in Santa Monica.
From the very first time I stepped off the plane at LAX (with a dream and a cardigan; thank you, Miley Cyrus) and drove onto campus for NSO, I knew I was ready to embark on my crazy college adventure.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been tossing and turning at night reliving my favorite memories and what I love most about Pepperdine and California. Because for me, those two go hand in hand. Let’s state a few of the obvious things: the weather, the beach, the boys, my tan, my friends, my roommates and the beautiful tennis courts as the sun sets.
If I had to pick the best year, it is this one. So listen up all of you younger Waves, just get ready for the best ride of your life. These four years have gone by way too fast, and just looking back to my freshman year I see how much I have grown on emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels.
Wanting so badly to become friends with people who I saw across the Caf on the first day of freshman year to actually being friends with them by senior year is incredible. From finding a best friend in my freshman suite, to trekking across the capitals of Europe while breaking my ankle along the way, to having my sister join me at Pepperdine and cause a ruckus with me wherever we go, to being in a sorority winning the Balfour Cup, to becoming a sweetheart for a fraternity, to living with the most awesome guys my senior year, I have really experienced it all.
The most important thing to do in college: everything. Who needs sleep? As my momma Blanche says, “Sleep is for the dead.” This has become one of my favorite sayings. Why do we wanna sleep in college? Go ahead, get a good night’s sleep, but don’t waste your day away dreaming from the isolation of your bed when you can be living your life wide awake in sunny California, Florence, London, Heidelberg, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Lausanne or Washington, D.C.
California and Pepperdine have taught me how to learn, love and live. I wouldn’t be ready to graduate without knowing these things. Yes, the “real world” seems a little scary. My sister often asks, “Is it me or Malibu?” It’s both, and I’m all the better for it.
Follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter: @BlancheJohnson1