You were something I cringed about in August. I was scared I wouldn’t survive with your outdated rooms and showers that reminded me of a prison cell. I visited you with my dad once, and the elevators barely worked and the walls were narrow – nothing like my own room and bathroom at home. The broken windows, the refrigerator that breaks every other week, the cheap microwave and the “waffle ceiling” were just some of the things I noticed within the first couple of weeks of living in you. The one thing I never expected was the thought of missing you.
The thought of not getting a semi-good bagel with bacon, egg and cheese at the Big O or cheese fries right before a football game is saddening. Not waiting in that long line 15 minutes before the Big O closed strolling in my pajamas every Saturday and Sunday. Not being able to get a f’real milkshake every night of the week (hello, freshman 50). Not being able to look for what felt like hours just for a place to study past 9 p.m. then slowly giving up and sitting in the hallway to do homework.
I’m going to miss having my best friend down the hall and running to other dorms that felt like forever away because it was on the other side of the commons. I’m going to miss meeting at “the corner.” I’m going to miss gagging during dinnertime when we would see what they actually expected us to eat for dinner. Only because we bonded over the amount of food we didn’t eat.
I’m just going to miss you. I’m going to miss my life this year, and that’s all because of you. You made my first year as memorable, fantastic, surreal, and terrifying as it can be. I’m going to miss being a freshman when everything was new and exciting and when it was considered okay to be reckless because you were only a freshman. I’m going to miss running back from IM close to midnight because it was colder than we anticipated.
You are a community. I met the people who know everything about me in your dorm rooms. I have had good days and bad days in you and have met a second family in your thin walls discussing our life plans and reading our horoscopes past 3 a.m.
Thank you for giving me a year I’ll never forget. Thank you for all the nights I felt like giving up or wanting to go home. I feel sad not being able to call you home next year and trekking to everyone’s apartment on opposite ends of State College instead of meeting two minutes away. You gave me the people who will be giving the toast at my wedding and my future bridesmaids. And for that, I am forever grateful.
A grateful/emotional freshman
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