All That Matters is my Alma Matter

Labor Day weekend is finally upon us. Somehow, summer managed to fly by yet again, dragging me closer to another cold birthday and reminding me that I didn’t spend nearly enough time at the pool.

This weekend has been an important part of my life, not only for its gloomy back-to-school aura but also for the great memories that have always accompanied the end of August:

That day 11 years ago when I met my best friend Jackie. We moved into Reynolds 17 as fourteen-year-olds, and she immediately shrunk her designer jeans in the wash.

Us on Martha’s Vineyard in 2006

The day after at my first Fox/Hound Choosings as a Foxcroft girl. The officers called my name last and I sat nervously waiting for the attention to be over, despite knowing that I would be a Fox.

Senior year Battle of the Dorms rehearsals. Dillon won the entire competition, beating out Court’s Chicago routine. Or was it Applegate?

A year later and I was leaving boarding school behind, leaving my friends and my housemother (and her brownies) and the traditions that will always be near and dear. Moving in at Elon was fun. My roommate had early move-in privileges, so I took advantage. Making trip after trip to the newly-opened Target, a true luxury for the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina. (Now they have Coach and J. Crew factory stores. So spoiled.) Going to my first fraternity party and to my first State Fair in Raleigh.

Embracing my big sister Alana when we moved into our sorority house together the next fall was so reassuring. Somehow I managed to find two best friends who are nothing like me, and our friendships are more perfect for it.

Us on my wedding day in 2011

Moving into my first apartment. 223 was perfect. From the double closet to having my own bathroom, it was the culmination of six years of messiness, snoring, and mismatched quilts. If only Lighthouse hadn’t shut down that fall. Being two blocks from my classes was still a big bonus.

Then the year came where I didn’t move. I didn’t start classes. I didn’t buy books or stock up on Funfetti cake mix. Instead I bought a backpack and took the first–and only–flight on which I got a full night of sleep. I traded in Fall and September for a beach in New Zealand, urban camping in a tiny apartment with two other girls, and talking boat captains into taking me sailing.

I’ve moved five times since graduating from Elon. New Zealand to Washington, D.C. to China to Colorado and finally to Pennsylvania. But none of those moves have been as exciting as those eight Augusts.


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