Sea of possibilities is waiting for intern

It’s that time of year again when college students must say goodbye to their structured lives and say hello to textbooks, long nights and Ramen noodles.

This year is my first year of the madness.

The college questions come up in common conversation now. After answering them for six months, I have found a way of dealing with the repetitive questions: Give the inquirer all the information up-front.

"Hi, I’m going to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. It’s about an hour south of the Twin Cities on 35W. I have no idea what I will be majoring in, but hopefully it will be fun. I am nervous and excited to go. I leave this Friday."

Another great way to avoid repeating information is to have someone sit next to you and answer the questions for you, like a stunt double.

Getting ready for college is a big job. My whole summer has been spent acquiring more and more stuff for a room that I doubt is bigger than most bathrooms.

Walking through home-furnishing stores has become a hazard for my dad. My mom’s philosophy that everything can be taken back has caused a "no fear" shopping style and a pile-up of stuff in my "college room."

Packing the car will be an experience. Trying to fit three people, two 6-by-9 rugs, four Yaffa blocks with drawers, a computer, a book shelf, a bean bag, CD’s, clothes, and books will be quite a challenge.

I also spent this summer learning different tricks of the trade for college. I learned to wash my first pile of laundry. My mother helped me separate the colors and explained to me how there should be a white pile, a colored pile, a jeans/dark pile, and a red pile. I began to wonder if laundry was like segregation in America. Maybe, in college, I should learn to be more accepting of other races and just mix them all together. We’re all one, aren’t we? I just don’t know if I can adjust to all pinkish-gray clothing.

One of my nerve-racking experiences this summer was talking to my roommate for the first time. I have heard rumors of people who meet their roommate, only to find that she/he is on the top 10 most wanted list for murder in Iowa. I was relieved to find that she is not a murderer, but she is a bass player in a jazz band. She is also from Wisconsin, not Iowa.

I learned this summer that after awhile letters from college become a necessity, not a privilege. I can hardly get through my day if I don’t receive an envelope with black and gold lettering on it. During the months of June and July, St. Olaf would send me about five letters per week. Now, in August, they have been weaning me off them.

So now, as the days and hours creep closer and closer to my departure time, I wonder how to say goodbye to a town, friends and a life I have known for 19 years.

A musical rendition of "So Long, Farewell," from "The Sound of Music" could be a possibility, but not a very good one.

Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

A sea of possibilities is waiting. So long, farewell.
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