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Learning on the weekend

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, September 1, 2004

“I had a crazy weekend.” I am sure you have heard this phrase about 1,000 times since Monday, followed by a detailed story about an adventurous “Rally” experience. My weekend was about more than Rally, The Show or any off-campus party. It was about some important realizations I came to in my first weekend back.The first weekend on campus is a right of passage for any first-year college student.Being a sophomore, I could not help but envy the freshman as they “discover” all that college has to offer, with everything and everyone being a new face or experience. On the other hand, I was glad to be a sophomore and reassure myself that having been here for one year I would not make any “freshman mistakes”… but I was very wrong. When I was heading back to campus Friday night I came to the horrid realization that I had lost my keys and wallet somewhere in the vastly congested alley at Turtle Creek. After a moment of panic in the realization I had lost not only my mail and door keys, but also my student ID, ATM card and $40 cash, I felt more helpless than any freshman might in his or her first few weeks at college. As the weekend progressed, I felt more at ease with my loss. Perhaps, you might say, I came to terms with having to cash out over $100 to replace my belongings. This stupid mistake made me realize that college is all about mistakes, and what really counts is how you deal with them. I knew I swore that I would not make any mistakes this year, but just like a freshman I did not know what life would have in store for me. If I knew coming to Saint Mary’s last August what I know now, my life would have been much simpler. I guess someone should have told me winter can and will last for 80 percent of the school year, boys do really play video games all of the time, Instant Messenger will be equivalent if not more popular than the telephone and it is okay to eat cereal for every meal at the dining hall. No one ever told me that this weekend I would be saying goodbye to two of my best friends who would be studying abroad for the year. These are two friends who I did not even know existed merely one year ago, but by making it through our freshman year together we would become best friends. You will be glad to know that NDSP left me a voicemail on Monday morning, reporting that someone had turned in my keys and wallet. When I picked it up from Security I felt more in control of things, like a real sophomore who knew what was going on. I could only hope that it was an honest freshman out there, about to experience one of the best and most challenging years of his or her life, who turned in my keys, wallet, and money all intact.