The past four years

I remember it like it was not so far gone. I carried the last of my belongings into my first floor room in Bouge, my body sweating from the lingering summer heat. I rushed my mom, brother, and friend Sarah back on the road, ready to start my new venture. I wandered around this unfamiliar campus in my pastel flowered dress, stopping any time I saw a new face—a student just like me—confused and excited for this new step in life.
I met many friends whose names are long forgotten and faces faded in memory. It was the outgoing freshmen days when it was necessary to meet every single new person and tell them every detail about your life as if they were going to be your best friend. And after four years, it may only be a smile or wave you give them in acknowledgement when you see them, if they are even still here at all.

Friday May 13, 2011, graduating seniors will be reminiscing on their years spent at Green Mountain and embracing their last night of college with friends. The last Friday the 13th in May was in 2005. I remember it vividly because I awoke to a phone call at 3a.m., a shaking voice on the other end, telling me my father went into a coma. It was unexpected, with no explanation, and he passed away the next day. I have come to realize that is life—things happen and you must deal with them. Sometimes things happen in life that we feel we aren’t ready for, but we find the strength to continue on.

Saturday May 14, 2011, we will be leaving life as we know it behind and embarking on new adventures. We may feel like we aren’t ready, but we will take what we have gained here at Green Mountain, and carry it with us.

The friends I met freshmen year, we’ve traveled far. From those days when we chilled by the river, watched for shooting stars, and talked about our high school days, swearing no one would be as close as we were. Then the next semester came, with only half of the friends returning, the cycle repeating itself until finally just a handful of us were left. We discovered love at Green Mountain, whether it be in ourselves, the environment, our sense of place, or individuals that we feel completely synch with.

Through life we travel down paths—sometime we get lost, while other times we only think we are. During these travels we learn to make mistakes, to be independent, and grow. We learn to trust ourselves and the choices we make. Sometimes we may reach obstacles in our way, but as my grandma says to me, “Continue you break down the brick walls; even if it means taking it down brick by brick.” We will travel far in life, and look back wishing we could still be wearing that tie-dye skirt, living so care-free in the back field.

Amberlee Miller