I woke up on the opening day of classes well aware that I would have homework, probably in ample amounts, by the end of the day.
I shrugged my way into my mom’s white college sweater, strung the locket with pictures of her and Dad from their college years, slung on my backpack and descended from the heights of Dowling onto the playing field of knowledge. On my trek to my first class, I thought back to previous beginning days of school: kindergarten, grade school, junior high (oh the terror!) and high school.
Then I thought about last year. I remembered how eager I was for my crying parents to leave so I could experience what life was like without them. How lost but yet excited I was, traipsing around campus with a lanyard around my neck, in a herd of disoriented freshmen.
Then I realized as a sophomore how, for the first time, my parents weren’t here to drop me off, move me in or say goodbye. And I missed them. A lot.
Returning to St. Thomas, I looked forward to some classes. I looked forward to some activities (swing dancing!). I wanted to have legitimate excuses to wear purple on Tuesdays and flannel on Fridays again. But, most of all, I realized I was looking forward to seeing people and getting to know them more. And, as much as I love learning new things in class, I’ve discovered some of the most important experiences I will take away from St. Thomas will involve those out-of-class interactions.
So, in addition to my Catholic Studies and Communications and Journalism double major, I’m kind of majoring in people. The more I’m here, the more I care about them. That won’t always be easy. Some will be right there for years and then, one day, will be miles away like my parents. It hurts a bit. But, then, as they have shown time and time again, true love always involves sacrifice.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.