It's a Saturday night on campus. As several of my peers gyrate to pounding music in dark, crowded rooms full of sweaty, inebriated bodies, my floor and I instead decide to play a pick-up ping-pong tournament in the student center.
The problem? It was just hours after my race, and I was in no shape to walk after giving it my all.
So my friends carry me--literally.
I become the most cumbersome backpack they have ever borne--we teeter down the stairs and fumble out the door. The piggyback ride givers rotate. Then we trek across the brightly-lit sidewalks, laughing loudly and freely. I somehow manage not to fall, and my transporters somehow manage not to let go--the much greater feat. We create a bizarre scene, but it doesn't bother me. Minus my raging peroneal tendon, I couldn't be happier.
It's been years since I'd had a piggyback ride. But more importantly, it's been ages since I'd felt at home in a group of people. For as long as I remember, I've floated between very different clusters of friends, never really belonging to a single one--sometimes my closest friends didn't even like each other.
But this year, it's been different. Since opting out of room draw and joining the Asian culture house, I've never felt more resonance--even among such vastly different souls. We struggle on homework together in the common room, we chat over meals in the dining hall, we support each other at performances, we roar over Cards Against Humanity on late weekend nights. From being carried across campus to watching the blood moon against a canvas of twinkling stars, I know I'll hold these fond moments close to my heart for a long time.
It makes me melancholy, however, to think that I may never see these people again after this year. If I study abroad two semesters next year, the juniors will be off and graduated by the time I return as a senior.
The ephemeral nature of most human relationships has bothered me for quite some time. Classmates, teammates, teachers--they walk in and out of our lives, just as we often walk in and out of theirs. And sometimes even the closest of friends drift away, becoming strangers. As I scroll through my instagram feed, I feel wistful upon seeing the snippets of once-tangible lives that are now so foreign.
But we keep moving forward. We can't hold on to everything, or we'd be spread so thin. And as evidenced by my 9-year friendship with someone states away, those who truly want to adventure with us on this expedition of life will stay by our side.
I'm not sure if my floor will stay in touch after we disseminate into the real world, or if our bonds will simply vanish into the past--but I do know that I'm happy to be where I am now, and I'll savor it as long as it lasts.
As a liberal arts student/endurance athlete/violinist/fashion enthusiast, I find beauty in many spheres. Consequently, I have no idea where life will lead me. Here is where I document my journey to creating myself--soul-baring reflections, embarrassing photos, and all. Feel free to join me for the ride.