Fall 09: Semester one.

It’s almost over, this first semester of mine. I feel like I need to write it all down, to look at it before me so I can see what I’ve done and who I’ve become, because it just doesn’t feel surreal in this life, at least not yet. Part of me still feels like I’m at summer camp for an extended period of time and that any day now, I’ll pack up and head home, but the other part of me can barely remember what it was like before this life. It’s a fine line, a blurred line, a jagged line. It’s all about growing up, I suppose.

First, I’d like to do it chronologically. I’m not one for this, but I think I’ll start it at the end of every semester. At the end, I can look back and say, “Oh my goodness. I forgot all about that.” Which is a beautiful gift. Anyway, here we go!

  • August: Quit work, moved to Tuscaloosa, participated in Alabama Action, met Janie Parker and Gracie Renfroe, started class, went home for the first time, came back, realized I loved it.
  • September: went to the lake for Labor Day, went to the first football game, went to the beach with Callie, got bogged down with homework, went to Doster Cafe every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • October: became good friends with Sarah, Ross, Justin, Jessica, Ginny, Will, Pete, Norm, and so on, went on a Fall Break extravaganza to Peachtree City/Atlanta/Helen/Monticello, won a jar of candy corn at the Halloween Festival, attended Prattmont’s new building dedication, stayed bogged down with homework, went to Bryant every Tuesday and Thursday for lunch.
  • November: went home for Hailee’s birthday, saw New Moon, went home for Thanksgiving for nine days, got sick of my family, came home for finals, stayed at Bryant for lunch, but then went to the library.

There are more things, though. Things that made this amazing and hard and incredible and worthwhile, and these are things that I want to remember; I want to find the right words to capture these moments so that when I’m 45, I can close my eyes and be here again. Because I don’t ever, ever want to lose this.
I want to remember going to the dining halls and eating, and hating it, but loving it because it was “free” and because we’d push the chairs and tables together until we had a big party and we’d eat our crappy food together.
I want to remember how we gathered in various dorm rooms night after night to watch movies or play Catchphrase, and how I always wanted Justin on my team, but never, ever Will.
I want to remember dressing up after the homecoming game and dancing at a party, but getting kicked out and instead going to Ally’s dorm and dancing for hours more- Pete taught me the pretzel.
And sitting on the quad for hours at a time, sometimes in the middle of the night, playing frisbee (Well, not me) and drinking cold hot chocolate (hm..) and listening to music.
Or going to Gorgas Library and drinking coffee and blogging, and smiling because I am so in love with this place.
I want to remember staying up until 4:30 a.m. when I had 8 o’clock classes because the conversation was so much deeper than I was used to and I couldn’t bear to end it. I don’t want to remember the day that I skipped class because of it or the day that I didn’t and almost died from exhaustion.
And road trips with Janie…the majority of our friendship has been spent in a car!
I want to remember getting angry at my roommates for eating my food and cleaning the bathroom for the first time and dusting like Lori was always sure I wouldn’t.
I want to remember the f
irst time my family came back after moving me in, how I guided them around campus and proudly showed off my house, because, well, this is home now.
I want to remember the first time I was walking down the street and someone saying hey, and how I felt for sure that I belonged after all.
I want to remember how I felt included and loved right away, and how God reminded me time and again that this was the place for me, and that He had His hand in all of it. I want to remember the day that I was walking to the Ferg and I felt His presence so, so much that I literally lost my breath and had to sit on a bench to take it in. I don’t want to lose any of it.
I realize that soon- probably next semester or next year- we’ll have boyfriends and girlfriends and jobs, and we’ll all move off campus. Eventually, those boyfriends and girlfriends will become our husbands and wives and we’ll graduate and scatter, and e-mail each other every few months with new pictures of our kids or updates on our great job promotions, but for now, we can get together every night and watch a movie and eat frozen grapes and it has made me happier than I ever thought I could be. I don’t want to forget it.
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