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Freshman flashback

Jess Shaffer | Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Junior year is a time where you are apparently focused on the future. Lately, I’ve been so focused on the future, that I’ve noticed I’ve carefully compartmentalized my past. 

Now, not all memories are being suppressed because of their traumatic content.  Even the “traumatic events” of my freshman year are on the whole pretty laughable. I was mortified to have to appear in a swimsuit in front a large group of people who didn’t know me yet but who I’d be spending my college career with. My solution was to toss on an old racing suit from my Varsity swimming days, avoid mirrors and get in and out as quickly as possible. After drying off with the miniscule towels provided by the university, I rushed home to my room where I got the first glance in a mirror that day. It wasn’t until then that I discovered that my racing suit was indeed quite old … so used that it finally became transparent. My entirely sheer suit in fact turned out to be an inadequate covering of my birthday suit. 

That was just the start of my haphazard Freshman year. There was also the day where I wiped out face first on the floor of DeBartolo. And the day where I was called to front of the stadium seating, 150-person lecture, because I was late. After serving as a live human model in the professor’s lecture, I climbed 100 stairs to the applause of my friends who thought it was the funniest thing they’d seen that day. 
Admittedly, all the memories I’ve imparted so far are traumatic. But I swear I’m not repressing them, I’m simply forgetting them in the jumble of my fragile 20 year old mind. I also usually forget great memories like seeing my mom’s face for the first time since I started college. Her look of shock and horror that I had pierced my nose in our three-month separation was brilliant. There was the time I attended my first Scene meeting, and of course seeing my first print byline. There was the day I befriended my current, beloved roommate. I apparently went up to her, said I recognized her from a class and had decided we should be friends. There was the day my boat fell apart at Fisher Regatta and me, and four other freshman, swam the bits to other end of St. Mary’s Lake.
During one of the best days of my life, someone turned to me and said “I can’t wait until this becomes a memory.” The point is, I recovered from my clumsiness, changed out of my see-through bathing suit and have in some ways lost the thrill of being at Notre Dame for the first time. The good and the bad, they all pass. But there is not reason not to hang onto the savory memory of moments that shaped a simple, forgettable day or the most defining experiences of your life.