Dec. 8 will mark exactly a hundred days since my arrival at Mayflower Hill. I remember how stressful that day was, how my nerves seemed to get only worse as the day went on, and how when my parents said goodbye that night, it was the first time I had truly been scared to be embarking on this next chapter of my life.
I let these nerves define me for a large chunk of my first semester, blaming everything on how adjusting was becoming increasingly difficult and on feeling envious of the people who got to visit home or whose families came to visit them on campus. I was terribly homesick, and by the time Thanksgiving break rolled around, I couldn’t wait to be back in Houston.
Unfortunately, I jinxed my excitement to be home. On the night before Thanksgiving, I officially came down with the flu. Thus, my joy became frustration as Influenza A kept me bedridden, unable to really see my family and friends. And worst of all, without an appetite on the one day a year it’s socially acceptable to eat your body weight in mashed potatoes and cajun-seasoned turkey, it was truly a travesty.
As a result of the flu, I spent a long time in bed thinking about my life recently. Surprisingly, instead of feeling upset about the woes of my first year at college, I found myself feeling upset that I wasn’t there.
I missed Colby, no matter how much I thought I wouldn’t or insisted I didn’t. I missed my too-tall bed with the hammock I hung underneath it because my bed at home was too low to the ground and only had one pillow.
I missed the dining hall food, especially after the bacon, potato chip, and raspberry jam grilled cheese my mother made (sorry mom!), and I missed freaking out about smelling the fumes from painting our nails in the small dorm rooms.
Most importantly, I missed the people. I wanted to go back and gossip with them about who we saw talking with whom at the senior apartments or watching movies on my beanbag while eating Taco Bell. I wanted to go to Selah Tea on Saturday morning and bundle up to walk through campus during a snow flurry.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved being home. Getting to spend time with my family was incredible, and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. But I realized that I had spent so much time complaining and stressing about school that I failed to appreciate and recognize all the things I loved about it. Sure, there have been some not-so-great parts of my time here, but overall, I would say there have been many more good times than bad.
Between incredible friends and being in a wonderful place, it’s hard now to stay mad at it for very long. I mean seriously, how can I be upset about being here when I’m going to experience a real winter for the first time?
I used to think the whole “time flies when you’re having fun” saying was a bit bogus, but looking back on a hundred days of calling Mayflower Hill home, I can guarantee that the saying is true. Since move-in day, I have found my people, my places, and a million things to love about the Colby. So, from now on, I’m challenging myself, and I challenge all of you to really think about the time you’ve spent on this campus, whether it’s been a hundred days or four years, and reflect on the great times you’ve had and the people you’ve met.
We often don’t realize how privileged we are to be in such a beautiful place with incredible people and opportunities, and I don’t want to ignore that anymore.
Getting the flu wasn’t what I thought would be a catalyst for a change in my outlook on life, but I’m grateful that it happened. Without that time laying sick in bed, I wouldn’t be seeing my life up here in this new, positive light, which is sad to think. So, on Dec. 8, my 100th day here, I’m going to write out a hundred people, places, and things I love about Colby to serve as reminders for the next time I can’t think about anything except fleeing campus for the Texas heat. After all, aren’t you supposed to do something grand for the 100th day of school?
~ Kathryn Stone `26