I have a guest blogger tonight….this isn’t knitting, but its my life so I thought I’d share .  My son Andrew goes to the University of Maryland (as I may have mentioned just a few times!) and has lived in the same off-campus housing since his freshman year – it was the first year the building was open, and he’s been in the same apartment with mostly the same roommates for three years.  He and his roommates decided to move for their last year – they are splitting up sort of – Andrew is sharing a house with one of them and some PhD students.  His other friends are moving into different apartments.    Yesterday was his last night in his apartment, and he wrote me an email about it and suggested that I blog it.  I thought it was pretty good, so I agreed to let him take over my blog for this post.  I’ll be back later this week with some knitting!


It’s really sad to be moving out of this place. To have this be my last night… it’s surreal since I always came back to this place. The room is so bare and dusty (don’t worry I’ll dust and clean before I leave) since I only ever dusted it twice in 3 years. It’s weird with all the memories and life changes. Everytime I envisioned coming back to school and coming down to Maryland I always pictured this room. I never minded not living on campus because I truly loved this apartment. As I leave now I wish I had left sooner, so I could get the “real” college experience.

But I question what the “real” experience is. Is it really living in a dorm? Sharing a bathroom with twenty guys? Sure it would be nice to wake up and walk to class in 5 minutes. But my “real” experience was like everyone else’s… To grow up on our own, start to define who we will be, figure out life, learn to cook (still haven’t done it). So I guess I had a different real experience.  I believe that in the past three years I have really grown and almost every step of that process took place in this apartment. I’ve laughed here, I’ve loved here, I’ve cried here. My first drink in the living room, first college party, first drinking game. The insane images and occurences from just looking out my window (ranging from police helicopters, canine units, arrests, tasers, foot chases… storms, snowfall, sunsets, post election celebration… sirens, sirens, and more sirens. I could list memories for hours without hesitating, repeating, or tiring. I hope I never forget them.

My first year roommates are my best friends and it’s really sad to imagine not living with them anymore. I’m really lucky to have that, since I know many students hate their roommates. I have more memories with them then I did with any high school friends.  It’s my final night here and I don’t want to sleep. I picture moving in the first day. I remember you crying in the car as you pulled away. I came back to my room and cried a little, too as I set up my room. Since I know how sentimental I can be, I drank about half of a water bottle and left it on my bedside table telling myself, “I’ll finish it when I move out.”

The bottle is now on the floor where my table was that same day, still half full.

I know it’s good that I move out. I have been spoiled in this place for 3 years. I need to get away from the safety, from the comfort…I have had a lot of good memories and a lot of bad memories, happiness and sadness, ecstasy and depression. Times of loneliness and times of heart warming comfort. Great amounts of fun as well as insurmountable boredom. I wouldn’t trade any of it.   I’m moving away from my home away from home. The place I could always count on to relax and unwind. The place with my own bathroom and full size bed, where the Christmas lights stayed up for a consecutive 31 months. The place with a rooftop pool, a gym, game room, and my favorite study lounge anywhere. The place I used to brag to all my friends about. And when I finish that water bottle tomorrow, I’ll reminisce about everything I just said and more. I’ll swallow the last 3 years of my life, experiencing joy and sorrow with every sip.

516B will be missed.


15 Responses to 516B

  1. What a thoughtful young man! I don’t know that I’d drink the water that’s been sitting for 3 years, though…

    Our eldest is a college senior, too; he’s taking classes this summer and just moved to a new apartment. Transitions!

  2. Lauren says:

    Sweet 🙂

  3. I lived in a co-ed dorm at my university and let me tell you sharing a bathroom with 20 guys is far from wonderful… than again as a female I may have a slightly different perspective 🙂 Moving is hard but can be really rewarding – good luck!

  4. donna lee says:

    I lived in a dorm with lots of other folks, I lived in an apt on campus and off campus. I don’t think that any one is more real than the other. Fortunately, it seems to be up to the individual how much you grow. It sounds like Andrew is making the most of his time. Enjoy this last year. You know it’ll fly by.

  5. Kim says:

    Ahhh, the experiences. I’m so glad he put this down to remember for later. The second (and third…) moves in life are so much easier, but you loose some of the sensitivity to what the places have meant in your life.

  6. Lorraine says:

    When people tell you these are the best years of your life- it’s hard to believe it- but it’s true.

    (Um, I wouldn’t drink that water either)

  7. Bridget says:

    I’m glad that he wasn’t hesitant to share this – I think too often, people think that only girls form these kinds of attachments.

    I wish him all the best, and many years of more good memories (even if bittersweet at times)!

  8. tiennie says:

    This was a wonderful post! He sounds like he really understood and got the college experience – it doesn’t have to be about dorms/parties/frats/etc. What great memories to look back on@

  9. Oiyi says:

    Thank you for sharing that. It was sweet. Please tell him not to drink that water.

  10. Chris says:

    It’s wonderful that he can put his experiences into words and that blog post will be a permanent reminder of his memories – thanks for sharing it with us!!

  11. Stacy says:

    Wonderful said! What a reflective young man you have raised. College really is a pivotal time in a person’s development, which he captured so well. Go Terps!

  12. Mar says:

    That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read and actually brought a tear to my eye. I it great to see how much Andrew has grown and changed over those three years. Thanks for posting.

  13. kim says:

    I read this the day you posted it, and I’m just now finally getting around to commenting. I loved this post. It was so real and poignant. I hope the move went well….

  14. rhoda says:

    ahhh, changes..it sounds as though andrew has been lucky in regards to his college experiences. i did the dorms, on-campus apt, and moved into a house with fellow students but I didn’t establish the kind of connections and relationships that he has so obviously done. hope the move went well and he’s adjusting nicely to his new digs.

  15. J.P. says:

    Wow. I am going through some little changes right now and that post fits me a bit now. Very well put… even if the water is probably iccky by now. 🙂

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