Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10 years ago...

Some days more than others, I miss college. I miss just about every aspect of my life from back then. I can vividly remember being IN college and being overwhelmed with what my life entailed, but compared to 'Real Life', it was a cakewalk and I didn't even know it.

I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN for four years. In the summer of 1995, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I did NOT want to go to college. I did NOT want to be 4 hours from home. I did NOT want to be that far from my mom and my life in Edina. I was scared to death of the future and I had never been forced to completely change my life the way I would be as an incoming Freshman. I'd never been a kid who loved being away from home - I didn't even like summer camp - so that was my biggest apprehension. I didn't want to be away from MY HOUSE. I can remember my mom promising me that I had to go until Christmas break. If I was still struggling and homesick by then, she'd consider letting me transfer. When it's mid-August and you're 18 years old, Christmas seems like an eternity away. Everytime I thought about getting left at college, I would panic. My stomach would take a ride on a tilt-a-whirl and my head would feel all airy and my eyes would fill with tears. I was not looking forward to this new adventure.

After a few hours on campus, I was still nervous as hell. My orientation leaders showed up and escorted me away to the evenings' activities and I didn't realize I wouldn't see my mom again...so her good-bye to me was in the form of a Post-it on my computer screen. I should have saved it...but in retrospect, it was the perfect way for her to say goodbye...otherwise I dont' know if I would have stayed the night in my new dorm room. The days preceeding the beginning of classes passed and I made friends. Good friends. Friends I still communicate with regularily and frequently. Freshman year was the longest of the four...it passed slower and dragged out the furthest...however after the survival of those 9 months (which included the coldest snap the F/M area had endured in over 65 years with one weekends windchills bottoming out at -85 F) I was home and done with my first year of college. And it was FUN.

I loved having my friends walking distance away (even in a blizzard!!)...if not next door. I loved partying all night and heading over to dining service for an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet that was all cooked and I didn't have to do more cleaning up than getting my tray to the dish area. I loved having my only responsibilities be class and homework. I loved getting ready for the day or to go out at night with my girlfriends. Here's one for you - we used to mix up HUGE drinks and drink them in the shower as we were getting ready to go out. It was awesome!!! I miss rolling out of bed to go to class in a baseball hat and flannel pants...yet getting showered and made-up to go to the library. I miss having a debit card that I used for Diet Coke and snacks and other various things at the Korn Krib...and if they didnt' have it there (meaning if I couldn't purchase it with my student ID) I didn't really need it. On weekends, I could go to the campus ATM and withdraw $10 and that was enough cash to buy a pack of cigerettes and cups for Friday AND Saturday night's parties. Life was good!!!

Then we hit Junior status and got to move off campus...and life was still good!!! Yes, we lived in tiny apartments that weren't the cleanest or the most updated, but they worked and the memories we have from those places are irreplaceable. My responsiblilites grew to include an on-campus job...in the forgein language computer lab on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday evenings. I had a car to keep gas in...but at $.89 per gallon, filling my tank for $11 kept me on the road for 3 weeks without an issue. I was going home less and less...and I could honestly say to anyone who asked that I loved school. I did. And in the blink of an eye, it was spring of '99 and I was once again on the Stomach Tilt-a-Whirl, onlyh this time it was at the thought of life after college.

Life was good. Life was free. Life was all about friends and making memories. Never in my life will I probably have such a well-defined period of time that I can look back and honestly recall hundreds of memories with little-to-no effort. I attribute this to the amazing group of friends I made at Concordia. 8 girls who all attended Concordia because they didnt' get into their first choice school. 8 girls who are all from parents who are still married to each other - not one of us has parents who have divorced. Six out of eight of us are oldest children. We all majored in different things but our similarities definately out number our differences. Concordia connected me to my amazing friends who I know are with me thru thick and thin. They would and have dropped everything to be there for me...for things as simple as a phone chat and as major as moving me out of a bad housing situation in a matter of an hour. They are amazing.

This upcoming October is my 10 year college reunion. Part of me is so sad to know it's already been 10 years since the adventure came to an end...14 since it started. The other part of me is so happy to have had the adventure at all. I wouldn't trade a single day of my life as a Cobber...it was priceless.

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