I vividly remember the dreary and lifeless clouds last year on the exact date that matched my spirit. Leaving last year wasn't easy. Leaving home for the first time wasn't easy. The excitement was there, but it was buried under a year's worth of memories with my first real boyfriend and, quite possibly, my first real friends. And leaving my sister was the most gut wrenching pain I'd ever felt. It was cold as we entered Missoula for the first time and my nerves were abundant. It's pretty bad when I have to ask my sister how to make friends since I had concluded within two seconds of meeting my roommate that she hated me. I arrived completely alone not knowing a single name on campus. I was on my own to figure it all out.
This year, that was the only thing I thought about during the four hour drive. It wasn't cloudy nor dreary outside. It was bright and full of life. And, more importantly, I was excited. I was overjoyed to get back to my school where some of the best friends I've ever had would be living with me and to a fresh semester after bouncing back from a pretty dismal gpa. I woke at 4:45am and nearly threw everything on the porch steps for my father to pack into the car. I pounced into my sister's bed eight times begging her to please just wake up and shower so we could get on the road.
I'm coming back to school this year the very opposite of alone. Somehow, I was able to convince my cousin to choose the University of Montana (it's not so difficult to convince someone that this is a magical place) for his college education. I have family here now. And, the day arrived that I've been waiting sixteen months for when I could open my dorm room and see Niklaas standing there with waffles from the cafeteria because I missed breakfast and he's still my boyfriend after a year of being long distance. My roommates aren't strangers and I don't have to wonder what my classes will be like. They're going to be horrible and probably make me want to throw my body into a vat of hydrochloric acid (hey, maybe I learned something last year?). But at least I know. I have my very own bedroom and I'm not sharing my bathroom with four other girls.
I'm sharing my bathroom with my roommate from last year. Who I was convinced on the first day despised me.
Nothing could be more different, but I thank the lucky stars, the God in heaven, and the fateful day two years ago when I decided Missoula was going to be my future place of residence that everything last year happened so I could have everything that I have this year and it could feel that much better.