Tuesday, August 28, 2012


            I awoke, startled, to the sound of “Bring it Back” by Travis Porter blaring from my phone.  It was 8:30…I still had a few minutes so I hit snooze.  At 8:45, my alarm went off once again.  This time I knew I had to get up.
            My first registration appointment was set for 9:15.  In the meantime, I sat at my computer reviewing my strategy for which classes I would choose.  Our advisors urged us to plan out our classes, and have several options in case our first choices filled up.  So I heeded their advice; I had a plan, and backup plan, and a backup to my backup plan.
            In our first registration period we’re allowed to sign up for up to 4 classes.  9:15 came, and all the classes I wanted were still available.  I clicked accept, and the classes went through.  No problem.  That wasn’t too bad.
            My next appointment wasn’t until 12:45 so now I had some time to kill.  In the meantime, my roommate and I went to the dining hall, grabbed breakfast, and came back to the dorm to relax.  So far, registration had been a breeze, so we hung out, listened to music, and didn’t think twice about the second appointment.
            For the next round, my roommate registered first.  Once again, he got his classes without any complications.  It was 12:15, and all my classes were still open.  We high-fived, and began our wait once again.
            At this point, my second registration appointment seemed like a formality.  The classes I wanted were available, as well as both of my backups.  But in a matter of moments things went downhill fast.  First one class closed, then another.  Then the first one reopened.  It was 1:25, and my schedule no longer seemed so secure.  The next wave of registration was at 1:30, and my worst fear came true.  Two more classes closed.  Luckily, my English was still open, but just like that I was out of a sixth class.
            Now, I was on the clock.  I had 15 minutes to find another class that fit my schedule and wasn’t full.  I raced through the course atlas, but seemingly each one was already closed.  Finally, at 1:44 I gave up.  I needed to make sure I at least got my English class.  The clocked turned and I clicked “register” immediately.  I was in.
            Now I just needed one more class.  But I didn’t know what to take.  I had thought about taking a philosophy class, perhaps one on the human mind or the philosophy of law, but they were both full.  I looked back at the philosophy homepage and spotted Philosophy 132: Intro to Philosophy of Art.  In desperation, I punched in the 4-digit code.  It was open.  Not exactly what I’d wanted, but it would have to do.
            In the end, I had to foul off a few curveballs, but I made it through registration in one piece.  Classes start tomorrow, and that should be a whole different ballgame.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Last Goodbye

            Never did I truly appreciate the term bittersweet until now.  I’ve spent the past week saying a lot of goodbyes.  First, I sent off my friends leaving early for school.  These goodbyes seemed almost out of place—premature, but they were real and hit hard.  Then, Monday night I had the bros over my house for one last high school slumber party.  We pulled our usual shenanigans and hung out, cherishing our last moments together as a group.  Tuesday, I went to the obligatory dinner with my grandparents.  After all, how could I leave town without getting one last quality meal.  Following dinner, I hurried over to another friend’s house where a handful of guys and girls hung out and reminisced as the college departures became even more imminent.  These goodbyes were some of my most difficult, including a few of my closest friends, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed any tears.
            But it wasn’t until tonight that I really lost it.  After one last dinner with my parents and sister, I had one final visitor.  My neighbor rang the doorbell and I hurried to answer it.  At first, everything seemed normal.  We small talked, and he returned my copy of Skyrim (I couldn’t go to college without it).  Soon, however, the conversation became more sentimental.  We talked of all the great times we’d had in this house, at school, on the field.  Any other time I’d just flip on the Xbox and we could concentrate on FIFA or Halo…shooting aliens in the face never gets old, but my Xbox was already unplugged and packed away.
            We’ve been friends a long time.  In fact, we met at age 4 in preschool.  It wasn’t long before we learned that we lived just six houses apart, and the rest was history.  Of course, when we moved on to elementary and middle school we were separated, but we still hung out on the weekends and sledded together on snow days.
            Then high school came and we were finally reunited.  In Spanish class together at The Park School it was like a dream come true.  Then again, sometimes things seem too good to be true.  We certainly had our rough patches.  After so many years, arguments and falling outs seemed inevitable.  But, each time the damage seemed irreparable, things always seemed to work themselves out.  So tonight, I said goodbye one more time.  This time it was to a friend who will always have a special place in my heart, no matter how many miles separate us.  Good luck at school.  I love you, man.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What To Pack?

            Friday, I leave for college.  I’m flying down with my parents to Atlanta, where we’ll say our goodbyes and part ways for good(or at least until Fall Break).  Many of my friends are ready to go; some have already left.  I, on the other hand, haven’t even begun topack.
            What does one bring to college?  At face value it seems simple.  Some clothes, a toothbrush, what more could a college kid need? But then there’s sheets and bedding, shampoo, shoes.  Perhaps a TV or an Xbox is on the list of essential items.
            Packing for college isn’t quite like packing for summer camp.  First of all, mom no longer has the time or desire to fold up my clothes, meticulously sewing nametags to each article so that everyone knows they’re property of Jake Max.  And unlike my simple camp uniform, I’d like my wardrobe to consist of more than just gym shorts and t-shirts.
            The real question is what to take.  My dorm room certainly won’t house my entire wardrobe, and narrowing it down is no simple task.  I certainly won’t need all 4 pairs of air force ones, and I might leave behind one or two of my half a dozen Park baseball shirts.
            My parents keep prodding me to start organizing my possessions, decide what should stay and what should go.  Making piles of clothes seems like a relatively easy task, perhaps exciting for some, yet I hesitate to begin that process.
Part of me has accepted that I’ll be leaving in a few days, but there’s something about theidea of going into my dresser and finding it empty of my favorite garments that scares me.  I feel like once I’m all packed it will be almost like I’ve already left.  My room depleted of my belongings will certainly be foreign.  So for at least another day or two I’ll put off the packing. I’m leaving home soon enough as it is; I’d at least like it to feel like home as long as I’m here.