Well. This is it. Move-out day.
On the bright side, I don’t have to feel weird about premature nostalgia anymore, because it’s perfectly appropriate right about now. This is the time for reminiscing, and I’ve certainly been partaking thanks to the tearful departures of my future roommates. I could certainly go on and on about how much I’ll miss freshman year, or all the life-changing stuff I did or did not learn, but I’d rather save my gushing for the car ride home. Instead, I’ll share with you a little gem I happened upon while browsing through my computer the other day: a mock freshman year wrap-up blog I wrote for SAAB during my first week of school. I’ll admit that my first thought went something along the lines of, “This is terrible; why did SAAB take me,” which I guess can just serve as a testament to the Writing Seminars Department (thanks for making me hate all the things I wrote before IFP). But there were glints of wisdom to be found tossed in with the bad jokes.
Essentially, it’s list of what brand-new-freshman-Allison predicted rising-sophomore-Allison would be most excited about come the end of second semester. And, I gotta hand it to her, she sums up how I’m feeling rather nicely. I guess she just gets me.
“I think I’m most excited about air-conditioning.
Is that sad? Is it sad that I’m here, on my last day of freshman year, releasing a very audible sigh of relief that I get to return to the world of the comfortably cool, a world where I don’t pray for a day in the 80s or spend my time walking into buildings just for the slap of cold air? That is sad, isn’t it. Sigh. I guess I’ll pick something else to be most excited about.
Maybe I’m most excited about the idea of not being a freshman anymore. I’m no longer the new kid in school, easily identifiable by that god-awful lanyard. I know the ins and outs of Homewood now. I understand how the library works, I know the best places to study, I haven’t been lost in like, days. I’ll never have to approach an upperclassmen and ask for directions again! I feel like my trial period has finally ended, and I’m a true part of the JHU community, not some visitor passing through.
Strangely enough, as excited as I am to move forward, the twinges of anxiety, and dare I say fear, are certainly present, more present than I’d ever have imagined. Just as I’ve gotten my footing, learned my way, I’m almost back at the beginning, one summer away from a year full of more change and new challenges. It’s nearly unfair that the cycle has to start all over again, but start again it must, and that inevitability is intimidating to say the least.
I think I’m most scared about losing my friends. What happens when my floor mates are no longer my floor mates? When the people who used to live right down the hall now reside in different suites on different floors in different buildings. How can our bonds stay as strong when we’re not defending our honor during dorm wars? My friends are some of the best things to come from freshman year, and I’d hate to lose such closeness.
But maybe the future is the scariest of all. Just the word itself is enough to fill my stomach with butterflies. And I’m not talking sweet, fluttery butterflies, but angry, genetically-engineered butterflies whose wing-flaps generate gale-force wind in my abdomen (dramatic as ever). Soon enough, the future will be standing at my door, wholly uninvited, asking me to do things and make important, life-altering decisions. Really, the future has some nerve.
However, and you might want to attribute this next bit to my infamous indecisiveness (apparently I was already aware that indecisiveness was going to be legacy), I must confess I am also most excited for the future. How could I not be? I’m tying up the last loose ends of my first year at Johns Hopkins University, one of the best colleges in the world. The future is brimming with possibility and opportunity, and Hopkins is giving me all the tools I need to access them. If the future is headed straight for me, then I’m glad I chose to have it hit me while I’m here, on Homewood campus.”
Okay, I got a little overly-spirited during that last bit, but you can catch past-Allison’s drift. She accurately predicted just how I’m be feeling right now: a little sad, a little nervous, and a lot excited. I can tell just by looking at my fall semester schedule that sophomore year is going to be equal parts challenging and unforgettable. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to all of the people who have thus far defined my life here. But now, on the very last day of freshman year, I can at least wholeheartedly confirm what pre-frosh-Allison had always hoped. Choosing Hopkins really was the best decision of my life. I’ve got a whole year’s worth of memories to prove it.