As I stepped up on the desk to climb onto my brother's top bunk bed, I was suddenly hit with an intense feeling of deja vu. It seems impossible that only three short years ago, I was climbing up onto my own lofted bed for the first time. This past weekend was quite the emotional experience for me. We arrived in NYC around 10am and found his building. There were a slew of returning students outside ready to help with all the move-in needs. We'd already brought our own team of family members and we quickly loaded the trolley with my brother's box and luggage.

His one bedroom apartment is small, but considered luxiorious by NYC standards. He lives right around the corner from The Empire State Building (seriously, he's practically in Herald Square. The girls' apartment building IS next door to the ESB). While my brother chatted it up with his new roommates, my mom, aunt, uncle, and myself all busied ourselves in his room unpacking and making his bed for him.

Later, we wandered the streets, up and down the avenues, looking for various things for his apartment. We stopped in a Pink Berry to re-energize. It was then that I suddenly felt excitement, sadness, fear, and jealousy all at the same time. My brother is going to have the time of his life there. He's got New York City as his playground, and a school that is going to do so many great things for him, it was a definite God thing that he ended up where he's at. As I watched him make friends with his roommates and fellow students, I remembered my own freshman experiences. The memories I made that year will last a lifetime, even if the friendships didn't. My heart ached a little for those people that are no longer in my life. I watched, wondering who out of the bunch would become the "best friend" and who would be the sloppy one, the quiet one, and so forth. I wondered about their futures, and thought about the things they will go through their freshman year.

There is no other experience like going away to college for the first time. A newfound freedom that can't be matched in any way. It's that transitional period between childhood and adulthood, in which you meet new people, and discover new things. The rush of excitement that comes from living away from home, the fear of conquering a new city, the responsibility of going to class whne you don't have anyone there to make you.

All my life, I've been waiting and waiting to be a "big kid" and have a career and life outside of traditional schooling. And now, here I am, on the verge of being in the real world, at the beginning of my senior year of college, and all I want is to be a freshman again. It was the best year of my life, and I want to do it all over again. Life was simple, and my biggest worries were about if I wanted to make the effort to get to my 8:30 class. Everything else was pushed aside to be "thought about in a few years".

My brother is already having an amazing time. Today, they were on a scavenger hunt through the city! He'll wake up in the heart of the city that never sleeps, and experience it day-to-day. He will master the subway system, and learn to deal with the millions of tourists and their maps. All the while, slowly making that step into the big kid world.

My only hope for him is that he savors every moment of it. Because before he knows it he'll be looking back, as he watches our youngest brother unpack for his freshman year, wondering where the time went.
2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    WHERE does the time go? Where? I was at Target the other day, and it was seriously swarming with wide-eyed, off-to-college kids shopping with their parents for laundry baskets, mirrors, plastic shelves, etc. I remember doing that with my dad so very vividly. Those days? They're gone. And I miss them.

  2. Z Says:

    Oh, first day of college! How exciting! How nerve-wracking! How fun!

    Yeah, I wish I were back there, too... It was such a great time of life, with the whole world open to explore

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