Ziploc bags. Packaging tape. Rolled-up extension cords.
I’m ecstatic to see my parents pull up in front of my building. I jump eagerly into the car as we head to my favorite diner in town. I think about how much I’m going to miss the omelets when they’re four hours away. We celebrate the end of another year, reflecting on good grades, good memories and the adventures in between. I tell them all about my final exams and how late we all stayed up each night studying. I’m sad to leave, but finally getting to see my parents makes me more excited to get home.
A rug. A microwave. School supplies stuffed in a backpack.
Suddenly, the amount of stuff looks overwhelming, as I recognize how much material was packed into a dorm room. We tackle it one area at a time. Box by box, my dad and I make our way downstairs to the car. The car looks like a jigsaw puzzle, and I plop heavy boxes and soft pillows into any crack we can discover. I’m tired, but there is still more to do.
A comforter. Dress bags. Wall decorations dismantled.
The room starts to feel cold as all of my colorful decorations and storage bins make their way down to the ground floor. Friends pop in and out, offering to help. My mom organizes like a professional, as each box and bin is filled to the maximum capacity. I push my glasses back up my nose and struggle with another bag full of toiletries. We once again venture down from the fourth floor. I want to complain, but I remember that I probably won’t go up and down these stairs too many more times.
Shoes and socks. A laundry basket. Snacks to save.
Exhausted, we prepare for another trip. The room is growing in size as the number of materials within decreases. Desk and dresser drawers once filled to the brim are now empty. I make a mental note to bring fewer clothes next year. I wonder how we even got these items up the stairs back in August. “We’re almost done,” my mom confidently responds to the tired look on my face. I smile, but all of a sudden it’s almost time to say goodbye.
A garbage can. An earring tree. The first aid kit that Mom so kindly made.
My parents hop into the car, and I’m suddenly faced with climbing the stairs alone one last time. The trip to the fourth floor doesn’t seem so bad anymore. My friends quietly follow me into the room where we laughed, cried, and danced too many times. It’s time to say goodbye. We hug and say, “I’m going to miss you,” but it still doesn’t seem like we’re actually leaving for three months. My friends follow me down the stairs one last time.
A backpack. A sweatshirt. Phones filming Snapchat stories.
Each hug lasts a little bit longer and feels a bit tighter once we’re in front of the car. I think about how long three months are, but then I remember how quickly the past eight flew by. I hop into the car, surrounded by the materials and memories that this year has provided me. I wave goodbye as my friends make their way back into our beloved dorm. I’m ecstatic to go home, but part of me wishes move-in day would come a little sooner.
*Originally posted on The Odyssey by Molly Reff on May 9, 2016
*Edited by Molly Reff for the Villanova Office of University Admission’s Blog on May 19, 2017