Closing the Orange Chapter

I’m in the car as I write this, surrounded by the familiar belongings that made my apartment home these past two years.

I spent the better part of the morning packing. It was tedious work, and my back has been in protest most of the afternoon (I’m an old man, I know).

My emotions had been neutral the entire day as I put things in bins, bags, boxes. The work was too frenzied and tiring for me to have any feelings about it. They remained neutral as we filled up our van (and I mean filled our van) with the things I’ve accumulated the past two years of school.

I began to have inklings of sadness when I surveyed the emptiness filling my apartment after we’d finished moving everything out. So many great memories were made there. I know these memories will forever dwell in my mind, but leaving the place behind is always hard.

As we drove away from campus and I surveyed the beautiful old buildings for the last time for some months, I grew sadder. These past four years, I made wonderful memories on the Quad, in writing classes in HBC, at houses on Livingston, Euclid, and Sumner. I’ll be forever fond of 301 Winding Ridge South and the front porch of 726.

But these are just places, of course. They’re material. What made them truly special were the people who called them home.

I met wonderful people throughout my time at Syracuse. Really wonderful people. People who will be in my wedding, who my kids will grow up hearing stories about, and who will be lifelong friends. I developed a fantastic circle of friends, especially this year.

Leaving these people behind and watching them go start their lives around the country is difficult. So difficult.

No more Tuesday night trips to Faegan’s. No more spontaneous golf outings. No more late-night calzones.

But the friendships will endure. Although hundreds of miles might lie between us, friendship doesn’t count those miles. It counts the memories.

I can’t be all sad, though. This fall, I’m beginning law school at Wake Forest University, and with that comes new challenges, opportunities, and memories. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

But closing a chapter of your life is always hard, especially when that chapter has been so amazing. I look forward to coming back to campus from time to time, and to spend time with the people who made that place so amazing.

It’s not going to be easy, but I know everything is going to be okay. I look back on these past four years with fondness, and to the future with anticipation.

Go Orange.

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