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Early onset of junioritis

Matthew DeFranks | Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Okay, so this column is a year early. I’m not supposed to feel nostalgic as a junior. I’m not supposed to be looking back on my two years as a junior. Juniors are not supposed to reminisce.

But there I found myself Tuesday night sitting on DeBartolo Quad eating a hamburger, chicken and a few too many cookies, just as I had as a freshman two years prior. But the food (even the ice cream) was not what was on my mind. It was the people I was sitting there with, the people that weren’t there and the memories from just two years prior.

That day two years ago at the picnic, I stood in the ridiculously long line before trying and trying to track down my roommate to eat with him. His description of where he was went something along the lines of: “I’m under a tree by some brick building.” Yeah, I laugh at it now, but as a lost freshman who had just finished his first day of college, it was terrifying.

Even if he had said, “I’m sitting a few feet in front of the bench outside Stinson-Remick,” I’m not quite sure I would have known which building that was or where that damn bench was.

I finally located my roommate (thanks to his 6-foot-5 frame,) sat down on the damp grass that may or may not have stained my khaki shorts and ate with his high school friends as if I had known them before. I met some of my best friends that night and also some acquaintances that I would barely recognize today.

We formed a football seating group. (Freshmen: I’m sure you guys had so, so much fun yesterday sitting outside to find out you are going to be in row 58 this year.) And the rest is history.

That day, a naïve, confused, non-involved engineering major finally felt welcome. I finally felt like this was the place for me. And today, a more experienced, hopefully wiser finance major still has no qualms about choosing a school nearly 1,500 miles away from home.

But it all started there on the grass underneath a tree outside some building with some average food and a bunch of people I hadn’t met before.

So forgive me for getting nostalgic about a seemingly unimportant event that happened only two years ago. But you might just feel the same way when you are in my shoes in 24 very, very short months.

In fact, you might read about it again next August when I write this column when it’s supposed to be written and not a year early.