I still remember the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach as my family and I pulled into the parking lot outside of International Hall to start the move-in process into Reed Hall. I was quieter than usual during the whole car ride out, and my mom could sense it.
I was quiet as we moved into the building and started to set up my room. I was quiet as we made our way towards Cheney Hall to enjoy some lunch. And I was the quietest as I made my way over to the bleachers full of screaming freshmen in Blake Arena.
I found my family across the court in the far set of bleachers and wanted nothing more than to walk back over, get my things, pack up and head back home. And as I watched my family pull away without me, it finally settled in.
My first semester of college had officially begun.
My roommate didn’t show up on time, and that made me even more uneasy. I remember feeling mad that he didn’t show up because I didn’t want to be there either. However, there was good reason for his late arrival, and it’s something that we still joke about today.
Four years later, I’m starting to get that same feeling in the pit of my stomach. Only this time, I know things will work out because of the friends I’ve made, lessons I’ve learned and experiences that I’ve had while at Springfield College.
I still remember my intro classes in the first semester in the fall of 2008. I remember the first story I wrote for The Springfield Student and still have the original copy. I remember a trip to the press box at a UMass-Amherst football game and thinking, “Free food, watch football, talk to players, yeah, this could work.”
I remember my first internship down at The Republican and another at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. I remember the first stories I wrote for those publications and have the original copies, too.
And I’ve continued to grow through experiences in other internships that have, in my opinion, made me a well-rounded person with a lot of ideas as to what I want to do with my life.
I remember countless intramural games with my closest friends, winning some and losing just as many. I remember making our tiny dorm rooms into the best spaces we possibly could and so many other memories.
And when this year eventually ends, I’ll remember my senior year as one of the most memorable years of my life. From the friends I’ve made my freshman year who have remained my closest friends, to my newest roommates from across the pond.
I’m extremely thankful for every opportunity I’ve had during my time at here at Springfield College. My time at The Springfield Student is something I’ll always remember. Even though remembering all-nighters still makes me sick, I wouldn’t trade the laughs we had for anything.
I want to thank all of my professors that had to deal with me for four years. Each and every one of you had something unique about you that helped me grow as a student, and more importantly, as a person.
And a special thanks to Marty Dobrow, who drew the short straw when it came to assigning advisors to students. I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for you.
And most importantly, I want to thank my friends and family for everything you’ve done for me over these past four years. Even though that feeling in the pit of my stomach is still strong as I get ready for the next step in life, I know I’ll always have someone looking out for me.
Good luck to everyone returning to Springfield next year and continue the great work.
Corey Hanlon may be reached at email@example.com