In three hours, I have to wake up and begin the drive down to Duke, where I’ll start my sophomore year of college. In a way, I don’t remember what college is like - I recall vague pieces, like walking into friends’ rooms at 4 AM and seeing that everyone is still awake, or cooking eggs while I anxiously look at the smoke blowing around the room, hoping the fire alarm doesn’t go off. But in the real sense, I don’t remember it at all.
I forget the physical trauma that comes with finishing a problem set at 5 AM, or the feeling of frustration associated with not being able to find a quiet spot in Perkins. In the abstract sense, I know these things suck, but their depth doesn’t really strike me anymore.
It’s awfully scary how time changes things. While cleaning out my backpack today, I came across my blue, paint-stained Duke-UNC game wristband and it brought me back for a second to what my life was like in that moment. Mid March, right before winter break. I think that was one of my highest points of the year. I remember sitting on a Megabus about to embark on a spring break trip with friends from Duke, having just recently washed off blue paint coming off of a win over UNC. And this obnoxiously large black man sat next to me, but I looked out the window and thought damn, my school is fucking great. I had so, so much to look forward to in that moment, so much to appreciate - my life at that time was pretty much the equivalent of a house song the few seconds before the bass drops. In a way, the anticipation is the best part.
I didn’t really get to say formal goodbyes to any of my friends back home. My one friend had a barbecue yesterday, and as I left his house at 3AM we said bye, and he closed the door just like it was any other day. My other friend drove me home, and I asked if I would see him again, and he said maybe, so we said “peace” and that was it. I didn’t see him today, either. I also watched another friend run into her house at midnight, following some sort of curfew she has.
In a way, it saddens me that the last time I’m seeing some of my best friends for a few months was so casual and nonchalant. But in other ways, it doesn’t upset me at all. I can casually peace out from these friends, or watch their doors close in my faces because I know that some people are bound to you. There’s no need to grab them and pull them in for a hug, or even mention the fact that it’ll be X months until we see each other again, because god, why does it matter? It’s going to happen, and we can play ball, play brawl, and get 2 AM McDonald’s all over again.
Until then, bruhs. Peas.