O the Days of Yore

Describe a phase in life that was difficult to say goodbye to.

So I’m writing in here again, mainly because I’m still paying for this thing and can’t bring myself to give it up after all these years of hard work. I’m going to use these writing prompts to try and get back off the pad (I’m reading a book about shuttle launches, hence that metaphor) and get the writing flowing again.

With that noted, I’m to write about a phase of life I found hard to let go of. Truth is, I still find it hard to let go of.

1997. I stepped from my mom’s car into the steamy Charlotte afternoon, stomach fluttering, as I readied to begin my biggest adventure yet. Freshmen year of college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. And I may have written about this elsewhere in my blog, but hey I’m old and I ain’t going back to check.

Anyhow, my mom and I made a few runs up to my room to get all of my stuff installed. I briefly met my room mate (probably the part to which I least looked forward, and rightfully so) then we headed out to visit my sister in her apartment. She was also starting her attendance at that university, though unlike me this was not her first year in college overall.

When we returned to my dorm, my mom gave me a hug before parting and placed me on the wall. “Do you know how to get back to your building,” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered timidly. There was no way I knew how to get back over there yet, as I hadn’t undergone the grueling orientation and mobility (O&M) training I as a blind student would have to endure to get used to the campus. But I was too terrified to admit otherwise.

College, the five and a half of years I spent there, were far from perfect. I had some periods where depression became so intense that I was urged to seek counseling. I also didn’t do so well in some courses not because of my inability to understand the work, but rather an unwillingness to seek the resources I needed.

But college was fun. It seemed I rarely had to study to get good grades. I also made friends easily, and if I hadn’t been as shy as I was I would have definitely gotten into even more things. (Granted it’s probably good I didn’t get into some of those things, but I’m just sayin’.)

People told me over and over again that those days were not reality, and now that I’m an adult I can see that. Reality is for me, as for most of us, waking at 5 AM.M. To slog off to a long workday to bring home the bacon, as they say. As I do that, I’m glad I have those years to reflect on and give me many good memories. I also still have especially the music I listened to in those days, as it is so easy to just live in the ‘90s using SiriusXM and Apple Music. There’ll likely never be such carefree days again.