Monday, August 25, 2014

Twice as Old: My First Day of College

On this date, almost* half my life ago, I began my freshman year of college at Brandeis University. It's the day I met a few people who would go on to become some of my best friends, and the start of my life in the Boston area.

There is so much I remember about that day, and the memories are so vivid that it's hard to believe they happened 18 years ago. I remember that I wore a Planet Hollywood t-shirt and black jean shorts. I remember being horrified that I'd submitted such an old picture for our freshman class meet/meat book. I remember unpacking my room, buying my books and saying goodbye to my family long before my roommate Carol arrived. I remember meeting Julie from across the hall, and Mike from the dorm next door.

During that orientation week (our theme was Amalgamation--remember that?), there were all sorts of activities scheduled to introduce us to our campus and other classmates, but I mostly remember the other firsts from that week. Our first trip to the grocery store. Taking a bus into Boston to go to my first club. Walking for what seemed like forever, trying to find some random party. Not going to the first Shabbat dinner of the year, because I wasn't sure if that was right for me (then never missing a first week Shabbat dinner again).

That first semester was filled with early morning breakfasts with half of my hall-mates before Chem class, and planning for our first "Screw Your Roommate" dance (oh how we planned). It was about finger painting our window shade, funny email forwards printed out and taped into bathroom stalls, and hosting as many people as we could on the floor of our dorm room. It was about USEM (the required university seminar course, mine was called "Not For the Faint of Heart") and learning to write papers. It was about Sugar Babies, ice cream turkeys and family weekend. About not going home for Thanksgiving until you realized you needed to go home. It was going home for Christmas break, finding out about a loss and realizing that your support network, much less your entire world, had changed completely. It was realizing that change was okay.

So much happened over the next few years. A lot of it I'd love to relive if I had the chance, some of it I'd change, and there are portions I could do without. But I mostly look back on college fondly, and am happy with the trajectory of my life that began there.

* According to the official day count, I won't have lived in Boston for half of my life until next July, since I was almost nineteen when I started college. But this is close enough. :)

Carol, Julie and me at the end of our freshman year, with Justice Brandeis

1 comment:

  1. Ah, that first day of college. The start of figuring out who we are. How can that possibly be a half-life ago?? You don't look a day over 25. ;)