My College Tribute
A bustling library is a weird place to find a new home. It was the spring of 2014 and I sat at the desk of computers in my community college’s library scanning through colleges and in which I would be spending my latter years of higher education at. The choices were being narrowed down, until I saw a school I had never heard about: Lewis-Clark State College. I turned to a friend sitting next to me and pulled his headphones out, “where the hell is Lewis-Clark State College?” he shrugged and continued typing away as I frowned and clicked on the link to the school’s website.
Honestly, I wasn’t blown away. The website and things at my disposal were nothing compared to the sprawling webpages of larger schools sites. However, as I looked deeper and deeper into the school, something just felt right.
I sat back and looked out on the campus of my community college and shook my head: “Lewiston, Idaho it is” I sent in my application that same day and I never looked back.
I wasn’t going to be attending for another year and a half, but in my heart, I had never felt an ounce of doubt in my mind.
My parents and I trekked through a 6 hour drive and finally reached the LC Valley in preparation for the school visit. I’ll never forget the moment I saw the rolling hills and the river reflecting the early evening sunset. I stared out of my backseat window and didn’t speak until we reached the hotel. I didn’t even need to go on the visit. At that point and time, I had already accepted my future in Idaho, and wanted it to start that very moment.
Over the course of the next year and a half, several things changed: the ending of a long term relationship, compounding issues of depression and other bouts of self-esteem, health issues, and true loneliness.
Nearly all of my friends had moved on to colleges, jobs away from my hometown, or were too busy with their own lives to keep in constant touch. I would go to school, go to the library, go to work, and come home. Plenty of weekends were spent on the couch with not much to do. The only way I survived was by keeping one thing in mind: Lewis-Clark State College. A new life and a new hope was waiting for me on the other side, all I had to do was get there.
The day before I was to head over to move in, I remember laying in my bed and just laughing. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I just felt a release that I had never felt before in my life. The new life and the lofty expectations laid before me and all I could do was force myself to fall asleep like a young kid preparing for Christmas morning.
Now, I didn’t know a single person in Idaho when I arrived, I knew my roommates names and that was it. I really had no clue what I was getting into. Not only that, but I was a transfer student who was moving into the dorms with predominately freshman and underclassman. Bottom line, I was on a boat with no paddles and had no idea which way to go.
The first few months were a giant blur. I found myself constantly happier than I’d been in a long time. I loved coming home to having roommates to talk to, and began branching out to people I never thought I would have been friends with. A group of friends was established and a genuine love was instilled, something I had never felt before about a group of people. We ate dinner together, we went to the beach together, and we sat and opened our hearts until 3 in the morning in our living rooms together. Everything seemed too good to be true, yet it was ALWAYS good.
I fell in and out of love with a girl quicker than either of us thought possible, and the year came to a swift end. Packing our things and giving our hugs goodbye, the year was over before any of us were ready to move forward. Time moves at a pace us as humans are unwilling to accept. The here and now only lasts for just that: now, and things are gone in all aspects but our minds.
My summer was filled with 60 hour work weeks and was spent under my parent’s roof. Each day longing for the return to the community of people which made each day better than the last.
Summer ended and I arrived at my small duplex with new roommates whose names I may forget in a few years’ time (if that tells you anything about our relationship) and smiled for what felt like the first time in months. I was home.
To say that I have been blessed with the people who have been a part of my life would be selling them short. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of those who made me feel like the luckiest person on the planet just by having me in their lives. Cooking dinners together, having Thanksgiving in my cramped living room, throwing parties which were too big for my entire building, and even picking each other up for long drives without a destination were small parts of what made my college experience so amazing.
I glance out to my small, intimate campus where professors became comrades, intramural games were played, and mental breakdowns occurred on the regular. I smile and realize I really couldn’t imagine a better place to call home.
As I wind down, I want to encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone. Take weird acting classes, classes where you watch silent films for a month, hell, take a class where you make a commercial about zombies and drinking and driving awareness for crying out loud. They will never have anything to do with your major, but they’re the classes you’ll never forget.
Work odd jobs and meet new people, listen instead of talk, and don’t be afraid to ask girls for their numbers at parties.
Which leads me to a final few words: THANK YOU.
Thank you to whoever was involved. Thank you to my professors who I grew to love, thank you to my parents who never gave up on me (even when I wanted to give up on myself), thank you to my friends who became my family, and thank you to every girl who stayed in my bed. Each one taught me different things about intimacy, and what I do and do not want in a relationship moving forward. For that, I will always be appreciative.
And finally, thank you to Lewiston, Idaho. The term that Idaho is “God’s Country” is 100% accurate. Setting suns, upon which golden skies painted the valley as if God himself truly selected this place to reflect his glory became regular reminders of the beauty of this place.
I may never return, or I may just never leave. In fact, the road before me is a road which I have no knowledge of, and one that is filled with doubt.
However, as the road ahead may be murky, I’ll never forget the road which has led me to this point. Thank you Lewis-Clark State College. Thank you for everything.