But, wait –– didn’t I just write this post?
With one more exam to go, I’m sitting on the edge of my sophomore year. Tomorrow, Dad comes and hauls all of my belongings away, leaving me to brave senior week with my friends. I’m not sad that the year’s over, I’m merely shocked at the speed with which it came and went.
My dorm room shows a year of use. Picture collage on the wall, inspiring quotations to help me get out of bed in the morning, the clutter of a college student who is always go, go, going.
I spent the first weekend here bedridden and unable to stand up after a cross country meet literally knocked me over. From there, I chose to be bedridden on the weekends, placing an empty garbage can beside my bed should I feel, erm, nauseous in the morning.
I opened my door on my birthday to find cards on the floor and the walls practically covered with sticky notes, most of them containing messages of love from Robby. Those have since been peeled off the walls, but it’s something I’ll never forget. The women’s cross country team serenaded me that night and couldn’t wait to see all of the clothes my mother and I had purchased while on our weekend escapade to Erie for birthday clothes shopping. I just recently took down the “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” banner Robby had hung from the ceiling; it remained an essential part of this room for nearly two semesters.
I’ve cried in this room, stressed in this room and felt the touch of friends in this room. It’s a white box painted with my memories and experiences. Because it is such a cozy little nook, I can’t help but feel extreme comfort every time I cross the threshold. After my intense set of summer internship interviews, I returned to campus, entered my room and promptly curled up in the fetal position on my bed.
I’ve spent the entirety of this semester exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally. It took months for me to feel like myself walking around campus following the break up and my resignation from the cross country team. I could feel my former teammates’ stares as I went about living my life and knew my decision left them with a hot topic to discuss (not to mention the rumors they started). It took new friendships and relationships to help me get back on my feet.
At the store I worked in off campus all semester, I met some of the nicest people. I expanded my network, put myself out there and saw outgoing Emily show her face more often than she had in months. I worked over 20 hours a week, did my homework and still found time to hang out with friends, new and old. The weekends brought time for Emily to finally relax, though she often woke up with an empty garbage can beside her bed, just in case.
This year hasn’t been easy, but this room has always felt like a safe haven to me. I’m sad to let it go, even though I’m onto bigger and better things. Next year I’ll just have to spice up my room again to make it cozy. The best part about next year is the friends I’ll be living with whom I will be able to call my home.