I leave in eleven days. At midnight on July 29, my family is driving up to Provo, Utah. The plan is to get there by noon that day so that we will have time to buy cheap missionary gear such as suits that come with two pairs of pants. Then, we go to a family friend’s house where we’ll probably crash spectaculary into a gangly mess of limbs. On July 30 at 12:30, I report to the Missionary Training Center, and that’s the end of everything.

Once I go into the MTC, I will not be able to see my parents, though I will be able to write and email, for the next two years. Just a few weeks of training and I will be flown out to Vancouver where I will start my missionary work. I thought I’d be more nervous or be more reluctant to go than I actually am.

Because of the way I was raised, I am predisposed to feel that I’m wasting my time by not going to school and I’m very competitive. In two years, by the time I get back, I’ll be starting my sophomore year while all of my friends will be getting ready to graduate. But the funny thing is that I’m not worried about these things at all.

The only thing that’s difficult for me is that after 13 years of schooling, I can’t seem to let go of school. Tests, deadlines, and constant loads of homework have been so well beaten into the very fiber of my being that even though it’s been about 3 months since my last final, I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying that I didn’t study enough the day before and I have a deadline that I’m going to miss.

Then, I realized why I can’t let go of the fact that I won’t be going to school for two years. I love it too much. The other night, one of my best friends and I were at the cafe at the top of a Barnes and Noble and saw some students huddled around a table with books. We used to do the same thing in high school. To get ready for a test, we’d go to the Grove, have a burrito at Chipotle, and mosey on down to the Barnes and Noble to study.

As I watched the students studying at B&N, I realized that I miss school. I miss the constant stress, the deadlines, the finals, the procrastinating. All of it is all part of the fun and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with not getting to go to school for two years. Maybe that’s why I wake up in the middle of night with my heart pounding.