I sat outside on an 85 degree day, cup of coffee in my hand. It was really happening: I had graduated from UMass Amherst, and was about to move away from my apartment. Everyone told me it would happen fast, but I truly didn’t comprehend how fast.
I remembered my first day at UMass. I got dropped off by the Peter Pan bus at Haigis Mall, and began looking around for band camp check in. I was there a day early, but still had hopes that there would be signs to point me in the right direction. Instead, I found a car that had a Vic Firth sticker on it. The driver rolled down the window and asked, “Hey, are you looking for band camp?” Stunned and nervous, I nodded. “Here, get in. Let me give you a ride!” Looking back now, I can’t believe I was so trusting, but I was. Thankfully, the stranger truly brought me to band camp check-in (Thanks, Dan).
I also remembered my time as a Sophomore, when I spent a good portion of the year simply trying to figure out who I was. I remembered dancing at a party, moving into my apartment, and spending a lot of time writing. I remembered finding my fitness passion with Katie, and her overwhelming joy that she brought me with her flawless Javert impression (thanks girl).
I remembered meeting two of my room mates, Kelley and Lexi. I remember hanging out with them for the first time at the Palisades Mall. We did a ropes course, and helped one another across fun and thrilling obstacles. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we would be doing the same for the rest of our college years together (thank you, guys).
I then remembered meeting my boyfriend, Korey, in a crowded room at a party. I remembered how I instantly realized his genuine nature, and his good heart. I also remembered thinking that I didn’t want to see him again (sorry about that, kid). However, after a date at a diner over bacon and talk of aquariums, I came around (I’m really glad I did. Thank you, Korey).
I remembered watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame over wine with two of my roomies, Punz and Katie. Moreover, I remember us pausing the movie to talk about important life stuff. I don’t think I have ever been that open with anyone in my entire life, and I will always cherish those snow-day talks (thank you, Punz and Katie).
I, of course, remembered laughing my ass off on the band bus with Julia and Courtney. I remembered our songs, our jokes, and the blue wave (never forget). I remembered our cherished talks about our futures, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t know who I was without you guys (thank you, you beautiful people).
From there, I remembered our amazing performances with the UMMB color guard. I don’t think I will ever be more proud of anything in my entire life. I can’t believe the program has come this far. I remembered meeting Laura at band camp (love you, you beautiful little one), and I remembered Allentown. I remembered the PennState performance where we got a stadium full of people against us on their feet. I remembered our sweat and our tears, and everything that we worked for (Thank you, all of you.)
Lastly, I remembered my phone call saying I got a job. I remembered the hugs, the champagne, the way it became very clear that something new was about to happen.
We packed the car, and soon I was hugging my group of tearful roommates goodbye. As the car pulled out of the driveway, I watched as the yellow house I had called home for three years get smaller and smaller. It was fading away, and I was driving towards something new–something unknown.
It all began with getting lost on my way to band camp, and it ended with a tiny yellow house.
Another window opens, and I can only hope that I get just as lost along the way.