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college experience

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This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I rip off the plastic packaging, tighten my fingers around the mortarboard and unfurl my $77.10 graduation gown, in all its overpriced glory. I turn towards my roommate of four years, Olivia. “It’s huge,” I say. “Kind of like an oversized T-shirt.” Olivia slides her arms into the sleeves. They billow around her petite body, making her look like a five-foot-tall judge in a red robe. “It looks like a costume,” she says. I wish that were true — that it is a costume, that we’re just playing pretend — because I am more afraid than I have ever been. In one week, I will graduate from Stony Brook University and leave behind the four greatest years of my life. There were so many “firsts” in those four years — my first kiss, my first all-nighter for a final exam, my first…