Yesterday I was eighteen years old, bawling until my eyes were swollen, embarking on the 18-hour car ride to North Philly. Terrified about meeting new friends, sleeping in a stiff twin bed, and scouting out the best dining hall.
Freshman year happened twice for me. Once at Temple University and once at DU, where I had a year of college classes behind me but I had to Google where most of my classes were being held. Sirens were no longer my background noise, instead, it was the sound of running shoes on the pavement with the Rockies as a backdrop. Colorado reminded me of home. “Minnesota but with mountains” is what I told people when they asked how I was adjusting. Fast forward to my Junior year, when I lived in a small Italian apartment, where I often tripped on the cobblestone streets while I ate Hazelnut gelato.
Now, I am 22 years old, back in Denver, still wondering exactly what a thesis statement should consist of. The past four years have comprised of eight ‘random’ roommates, three different campuses, a few major changes, and 26,000 pictures in my camera roll. I find it difficult to delete memories.
I feel lucky to have friends from California, Massachusetts, Chicago, Seattle, etc… I could take a road trip across the United States and eat homemade meals along the way. I feel lucky to have learned that my comfort zone is larger than I ever imagined, realizing that the people are what makes a city welcoming. I feel lucky that I can tell stories for hours about adventures with personalities I didn’t know I would get along with.
I cannot count the number of times that I’ve uttered the words “I can’t wait to be done with college” while writing a ten-page essay. I’ve wished that I could hang my diploma on my fridge, never to worry about midterms ever again. Yet, with eight weeks left, I realize that I shouldn’t have willed it away so quickly. I suppose all I can do now is print out my favorite photos and purchase some picture frames.