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Farewell to Freshman Year

I’m not really sure how, but freshman year managed to end. I have found that people often spend so much time looking forward to things that, when they end up looking back at them, it’s unfathomable how the thing itself has passed by. I pointedly tried so hard not to do that with my first year of college, and instead to do the cliché thing called “living in the moment.” For the most part I think I did a pretty good job — except maybe during those long nights of studying where I wished the day would just end. And yet, even through my efforts to take in freshman year as it was happening, I am still in that position of looking back at it and wondering where it went.

Packing everything up was hard emotionally and just… actually. It was hard because it obviously signified that I was temporarily leaving what has become my home in the past year, and also because I managed to acquire a tremendous amount of additional material objects that I didn’t come to school with and wasn’t sure how to get back home. The packing happened in the end, though, and my roommate and I (who bonded heavily over our love of obscure, non-mainstream music) uncharacteristically jammed out to the club mix of Britney’s “Till the World Ends” for like 6 hours in the process.

This is my dorm all cozy and brightly decorated. This is how I want to remember my room and all the good times that were had in here.

I think the hardest part of leaving was seeing my room returned back to the neutral state in which I found it during move-in day. In the process of settling into college life, I had virtually forgotten that “my” room wasn’t really mine at all. I could decorate it all I want and make it my own for the time being, but, at the end of the day, the situation was always temporary. I don’t like to think of the room as generic furniture between four bare, white walls. I like to think of it as a splash of colors from the two combined personalities residing in one space; friends sitting on the floor, talking and laughing; music bouncing around; and mac ’n cheese being made at 3 a.m. I made sure to take lots of pictures of it in the latter state, and only one picture of it in the former state.

At the end of packing, there were only a few odds and ends lying around, but you can see how empty and emotionless it looks like this.

Oh you know, just chillin’ in the closet after a long day of packing and moving. No big deal.

My family had aimed to leave at 5 p.m. because the drive back to Boston is about 6.5 hours, but something about Rochester just never lets you leave right away, and we didn’t end up rolling out of there until almost 9 p.m. And even then, we didn’t really get to leave, because just as we started the car, I got a text from my roommate informing me that I had left a piece of one of my lamps on her desk… so we had to go back.

But, after many hours of packing, goodbyes, and — doing the nearly impossible —whittling my meal plan down to 0 clubs, $0 of declining, and $0 of flex, we finally departed for good.

After arriving back home circa 3:30 a.m. (my mother was not pleased about this timeline of events), I fell asleep crying.  I felt two things at the time. Firstly, I felt lonely as hell; it wasn’t okay going to sleep with no roommate to say goodnight to, and all that noise in the hall at 3 a.m. that used to bother me? Missed that too. My house was too quiet and too empty for me to feel comfortable. Secondly, I felt guilty about having feeling #1. Seriously, I love my home — you won’t find a bigger fan of Boston than me — and I was very happy to see my family, so it seemed unfair to them that I would be in my room crying on my first night home, rather than rejoicing at being back home.

I am lucky to have a summer chock full of activity to jump right into, though. Were it not for this immediate influx of activities (more on this in a later blog), I would have had time to wallow in the fact that I had to leave Rochester for a bit. So while in the back of my head right now I definitely have a countdown until my first day of sophomore year (58 days to go!), I also know for a fact that I have a great summer ahead of me, and that’s exciting, to say the least.

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