This week, Williamstown is in the throes of a heat wave and my Frosh are in the throes of room draw.  These two seemingly incongruous events are alike for one reason- they keep reminding me of things to come.  For one, the fact that another summer is almost here.  Also, that my Frosh are almost Sophs- my year as a JA is almost done.

Lately, the pace of time passing by has seemed even more break-neck than usual.  I feel like all these changes are happening to my life and I’m just sort of along for the ride.  I’ve got my Co-Op room picked out and my thesis advisor secured; I’ve been planning my summer packing lists and waking up in a cold sweat thinking about my future (I’m a Literary Studies major… enough said).  Last night, the JAs that will live in this entry next year came by to check out their new digs.  My Frosh were sitting in the common room, some poring over floor plans and others scouring the course catalogue for next semester’s classes.  Even though I knew that the entry draft was coming, it still took me by surprise to see the two sophomores decked out in their costumes, grinning wildly.  Mostly because my brain is having a tough time processing that it has been a year since my Co and I were in the same place, wearing ugly Christmas sweaters and envisioning our new life together.

On Friday we had an entry barbeque, because we wanted to celebrate the beautiful weather and because we’re trying to squeeze every last drop of entry-life out of our dwindling time together.  The barbeque was no big deal, just my Co grilling some dining-services-provided burgers and a few Frosh tossing a Frisbee around, but I could tell that already I was viewing things through nostalgia-tinted glasses.  We stayed outside until it got too dark to see, playing a silly game that we invented with leftover burgers and plastic cups.  “Meat Ball” was just the latest in a long string of entry competitions, predeceased by such memorable feats of strength as “Hall Ball” and “The Shower Game” and that card game the Frosh used to play during First Days before any of them even knew each other.  It makes me more than a little sad that I’m not going to be privy to their games next year, won’t be right off the common room anytime gossip is being shared or jokes are flying.  While I know that I’ll still be on campus and definitely still be a part of most of their lives, I’m not naïve enough to think that things will ever be the same again.  I don’t want this year to end.

But here’s the catch: I am really excited for next year.  The prospect of living with my friends again makes me practically giddy whenever I think about it.  I’m looking forward to the dual challenges of writing a thesis and learning to cook for myself.  I’ve even started throwing around ideas for my 21st birthday party and drawing up plans for my collegiate “bucket list”.  So while I know that I’m going to be a typical empty nester, I also know that I will survive the pain of watching my babies leave me.  I like to think that I’m particularly close with my entry, so I have no illusions that leaving them is going to be easy… but I’m glad that I have things to look forward to, too.

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