Radiating Sunshine: The Good Old Days

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Good Old Days

"you are surrounding all my surroundings, 
sounding down the mountain range of my left-side brain,
you are surrounding all my surroundings,
twisting the kaleidoscope behind both of my eyes"
        ~ Holding On To You- twenty one pilots

So, before I begin writing this post I wanted to give you all a brief warning that this post is about a specific group of people. A group of people that made my college experience so memorable. A group of people who I could literally drive around on the back roads of Mount St. Mary's forever and never want the night to end. 

(James, Ben, Zach, and Matt)
On our last night together, my good friend James toasted to us all saying "I wish we knew that we were in the good old days when they were actually happening." And those words could not be truer. After graduating college, I felt so many feelings and one of those was a combination of sadness and regret... regret for not soaking up every minute I spent with these people. Regret for not learning all of the words to 'Migraine' (but, I know James likes my version better). Regret for preferring Bud Light in a bottle, over a can (but, not really -- sorry Bob). But, even with all of those feelings I know that I made the greatest friends and I am so incredibly lucky for every moment I got to spend with all of them. They all taught me so many things and I don't think my college experience would have been the same if they were not apart of it.  
I mean really if they weren't apart of this experience-- I doubt I would have cried my eyes out the day after graduation and moped around the house about how I'm not returning to the Mount. They all brought so much to the friend group and even if one of them wasn't there things would have been so different! How could we have gone without Bobby's knack for attracting creepy old men at Otts who wanted to talk to him about God knows what? How could we have gone without Matt's "party light," which set the mood for every occasion? Would college have been the same if Joel was not there? What if Ben had never discovered that cute little quarry in Frederick with the turtles?
Ben, Alex V., Bobby
 Any way that I reflect on college... I always come back to the same conclusion: these guys made the experience. All of our late nights in Steele's room or playing Mario Smash (not sure if that is the right terminology) in Annex. And how could we forget all of the College Nights at Otts?! We were always the group on the dance floor and if the DJ gave in to our request to play Usher's "Yeah," then the night was deemed a success!
Ben, Bob, and Joel 
Every time we all got together we ended up playing the best games (DRAGON) or having the best conversations. I think one of my favorite memories was when we were all in Kevin's room and talked about what we would miss the most and what we would change about our college experiences... it's funny because in that moment we all said we would miss each other the most and now that we all have graduated that has truly resonated. We even have a giant group text that someone texts at least once a day. It's nice checking in with everyone. I think my post-graduate resolution is to check in or call everyone at least once month. I also need to collect everyone's addresses!
Matt, I wish I met you sooner!
Joel, Ryan, Ben, Kevin, and Me
When I think back to some of my favorite moments... Is it weird to say that some/ if not most of them were spent in a car with these guys? There were so many moments where we were just driving around and I wished those moments would last forever. There are three car trips that are particularly memorable:

First, {Junior Year}: James, Ben, Estela, Afton and I were driving to Lincoln Diner during Winter RA training and we were listening to the song "Screen" by 21 Pilots and Ben would be singing "i'm standing in front of you" in this voice and we were all laughing and singing along.

Second, one afternoon, we were in Joel's truck and were driving around the mountains. I think it was Ben, Bobby,  James and I with him. Anyways, there this huge rainstorm approaching and I had to run into the building to use the restroom and Ben needed to get something from his car and we were completely drenched. But, before the storm hit we were in this peaceful beautiful place. The windows were down and everyone was smiling ear to ear. I would give anything to go back to that day.

Third, on our way back from Ben's graduation party: Caroline (greatest DJ ever), James, Jess, Matt and I were in the car with the windows down. I think this might have been the last true night drive I spent with these guys. We had "Car Radio" by 21 Pilots playing and everything got real. This is our life. These are my people. And very soon we will be graduating and parting ways.
Matt, Me, Ben, & Kevin
Another huge aspect of all of our friendships was Residence Life! Although Bobby and Joel were not RAs/DAs they lived with James and were basically a part of the Res Life family. If someone would have told me that by becoming an RA, I would have made the greatest friends I ever would have had I probably would tell everyone to become an RA or friends with RAs. We are honest and caring. Although we do have the "RA Tattoo" and we are not found at the raging parties, we always had the greatest time. Looking back I remember this party we had... which may seem bizarre for college students to do, anyways we had a halloween party WITHOUT alcohol and we had a BLAST. Looking back on it now, I kind of giggle to myself how silly we were. But, I would much rather have become friends with people over sober conversations rather than drunken forgotten stupors.

I really got close with the Res Life group my Junior Year (2nd Year as an RA). I was on staff with Ben and Afton my sophomore year, but I think I really started to get close with the whole group during Summer training of my junior year. I don't even remember how it happened, it was kind of "semi-automatic." I learned so much about these guys over the past two years. Like Ben would do anything for you and loves cars (cough Mercedes) & starbucks. Matt, is a phenomenal cook and loves guacamole. Bobby, is pretty much great at everything hands on. He is an expert watchmaker and would do anything for the burrito bar. Afton, works hard at everything she does! One day she will be this great homemaker and maybe even our kids will play together. Kevin, will most likely be President or a Senator one day and whenever we were all hanging out you can bet he would call Liz at least once (perfect fiance award)! Joel, has the best laugh and is a great dancer... he pairs really well with Hannah, who was new to the RA staff this year. Hannah, is a wonderful dancer and makes me laugh so much! Cristephanie, who always tripped me up with the name change and could always be found on the dance floor at Otts was great to go out with! Jess, was a great contribution to this group. We had Sports Psych together and she taught me so much and was always a pleasure to hang around. Zach, is/was probably the most athletic guy in our friend group (Division I athlete and all). I can't tell you how many conversations and or topics that Zach and I saw eye to eye on! And last, but certainly not least-- James, he would give you the clothes off his back... and he will probably be this famous author one day (equivalent to Stephen King) and will change the way people view life. He has taught me so much about life and myself and I don't know what I would do without him (literally I couldn't have gotten done all of those appreciation committee stuff without him)! He values loyalty and handwork and is one of the greatest people I have ever met. 
Ben, Me, James, Bobby, Jess, Joel, Kevin, & Zach
As I said previously, on the last night we all got together we toasted to each other. We each gave a toast on what we have learned or what impacted us. I toasted to having the greatest friends-- who are as caring as they are giving/smart. They value loyalty and who remain true to themselves. People expressed how they don't want to leave... and how they didn't want to say goodbye to everything we had here. Matt said that he wish he had met us sooner... and to that all I have to say is that I couldn't agree more! And finally James said that he "wish we knew that we were in the good old days when they were actually happening.." And with that tears rolled down all of our faces, and I knew that even though this was goodbye... it would not be permanent. Because with friendships like these you don't just say goodbye after you shared so many 5:00PM dinners together or late night chats. So, even if I don't see them every day for a delicious Patriot meal, or I don't go to Starbucks with Ben regularly, or drive in James' Jetta... even if someone stole my car radio and now I just sit in silence... I know this: I made some of the greatest friends and as we all grow up and move different places, none of us will be able to forget the "good old days" we shared and hopefully the even better reunions to come.

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