Between a rock and a hard place

So now that I’m told it’ll be perfectly fine for me to return to Duke early, I’m suddenly unbelievably sad just thinking about leaving my friends here. It has almost been a miracle how quickly I’ve made so many friends here and how awesome they really are. I feel like I’m just getting to know them and now I have to say goodbye. The genuine disappointment I saw on their face when I told them of the possibility of not coming back was quite heartbreaking. And yet I could not dwell too much on the thought too much and had to try my best to focus on my reasons for leaving…because if I really thought for a moment of leaving, I might have broken down into tears right there in the cafeteria. 

Funny how it was so difficult for me to decide whether to come here in the first place. Who would have thought I would be having just as a hard time half year later trying to decide whether to leave or not. My reasons for leaving are good enough. Law school is my top priority, so of course I should go back to Duke and raise my GPA and take lsat prep classes. Intellectually speaking, I wouldn’t really miss anything by leaving. Most of the things I learn here I can learn at Duke, in a much more intense and condensed manner. Even London, I can always come back. The monuments and the city is not going anywhere, nor would they change very much. That leaves my friends, or more precisely, time with them…something I’ll never be able to get back. Sure there’s IM, skype, and the entire internet plus phone for long distance communication, but I think I know quite well by now how far they are from real-time, face-to-face interactions. 

I can imagine my life back at Duke quite well. I’ll be once again stressed about classes on a regular basis. There’ll be loads of papers and reading. I will feel pressure and I will challenged. And I will be back to my old friends (at least most of them). There’ll be LSAT and GRE prep courses, or at least lots of practices. I won’t feel left out when I see tagged pictures of my friends at performances and parties. I’ll be photographing dances again. Ultimately, I’ll have the old life back again, sort of.

But I’ll miss having my own room. I’ll miss having dozens of cafes and restuarants to choose from for lunch. I’ll miss playing bridge every other day. I’ll miss my econ history class, and I’ll miss my philosophy of social science class. I won’t miss the constant traffic conjestion, or the claustrophobic feeling in this city. I won’t miss waiting forever for the elevator every day for class, or having to squeeze through Houghton street every day. But yes, I will miss my life here and especially my friends.

I feel pulled in two directions. My friends back at Duke are telling me how much they miss me and to come back. My friends here are telling me how much they will miss and don’t go. So I’m stuck with yet another hard decision where no matter what I choose, I have to make some sacrifices. In the end, I can’t have everything. That’s life, they say, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

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