I have a secret Facebook group with my four best friends from home (for those who haven’t already made fun of me about it, home is Manchester, MA. Yes, Manchester-by-the-Sea; yes, I’ve seen the movie; no, I didn’t like it). When the five of us went off to college, we posted daily updates in the group to keep each other in the know. As preparation/procrastination for this retrospective, I scrolled all the way back to 2013 to relive the golden days, and I realized that the start of my time at Vassar wasn’t terribly different than the end has been.
Beginning of Freshman Year
Day 1: Arrived at 7:30 a.m., dorms did not open until 8 (early bird gets the worm). Zack [roommate] got here (he’s very nice and funny and we have the same music taste; he plays guitar). Besides my tiny room, my dorm is SO nice. It’s like a luxury hotel. Love it. Showers are nice.
Day 2: Breakfast in the lobby of my dorm with all the other freshmen. Met two girls, [Redacted], didn’t talk with them that much. Just small talk.
Day 4: Picked up a care package from Mom [Really, mother? Day 4? Chill].
Day 7: Made myself a delicious breakfast with food I had in my room (granola, yogurt, raspberries). Went to the VSA (Vassar Student Association) Open House for free cookies, talked to the president of my house about maybe running for Jewett Freshman Rep. I did laundry for the first time!
Day 17: A CAPPELLA PREVIEW CONCERT!!! All of the groups on campus (there are nine) each performed three songs. Some of them were SO GOOD.
End of Senior Year
Woke up at 11:30 a.m., had a meeting at 10:30 (early bird gets the worm?). Zack [now housemate] is always here (he’s very nice and funny but doesn’t do his dishes; he plays guitar). Besides my room, my house is a disaster. It’s practically made of cardboard. Shower is filthy.
Hors d’oeuvres in Alumnae/i House with all the other seniors. Caught up with [Redacted], didn’t talk with them that much. Just small talk.
Picked up a care package from Mom [Thank you, mother. I am out of groceries].
Made myself a…breakfast(?) with food I had in my kitchen (eggs, overripe banana, sauerkraut). Officially finished my duties as VSA President—f*cking finally. I can’t remember the last time I did laundry.
Why in the world do we have nine a cappella groups? I never want to hear a cappella again.
There are so many more comparisons to be drawn—chasing my first shot of alcohol with tap water freshman year vs. senior year drinking cocktails with the Board of Trustees; going to events because they seemed interesting vs. going to events purely for free food; freshman year romantic drama vs. senior year romantic drama; the list goes on. Many things have changed, many not so much.
Thankfully, one constant has been that Vassar is a place I am lucky to call home. All of my VC families have made me laugh, stressed me out, taught me so much and filled me with endless love. My experience here would have been nothing without Jewett 7, Freshman Class Council, the Deece egg station, Jewett House Team 2014- 15, Chili Wednesday, the friends I made from various iterations of the VSA, Quadrovia and Girl House, late night walks around campus, fellow student musicians and my amazing, beautiful, brilliant house mates. There is no other place but here that I would want to have spent the last four years.
Back in August, it seemed surreal that I was considered old and wise enough to give advice to the first-years on their move-in day—in fact, it seemed surreal that I was a senior at all. Looking out at the class of 2020, I was reminded of myself, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and incredibly sweaty (from a Facebook update: “President’s Welcome in the Chapel. SO HOT”). Now, as this journey comes to a close, I realize that there is no formula for having wisdom; it just happens. I don’t think that any of us ever really knew what we were doing, but we did it together, and now we’re here, and soon we’ll be off getting older and wiser doing whatever we’re doing next, which will surely be something amazing.
I love you, thank you for an unforgettable college experience, stay in touch, HAGS, goodbye.