After ten straight years we are done. No more packing boxes, renting moving trucks, climbing up and down stairs or sweating profusely in non-air conditioned dorms or apartments. We no longer have to stop at Walmart or Target to stock up on additional cleaning supplies, school supplies or essential food and snacks for our college kids. No more pulling off of I-65 at Exit 193 for gas, Stuckey pecan logs or Dairy Queen Blizzards. Yesterday we packed up our youngest and cleaned his apartment in sweltering heat to bring home.
It was the summer of 2005 when we began making our treks down to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where my daughter began her education and helped start our family tradition of Purdue grads. We became familiar with the phrase “Boiler Up,” and the traditional rivalry chant regarding Indiana University at the football and basketball games. We became familiar with the location of all of the restaurants and bookstores in the area and picked our favorites.
Taking a break for lunch we chose to eat at Applebee’s because that was the first restaurant we ate at ten years ago when we moved our oldest into her dorm. Not eager to get back to work at the apartment we also drove to campus to take a final walk through before our son became a non-resident of Lafayette. The mist of splashing water from the Engineering Fountain was refreshing on this sweltering day.
Ten years ago we needed a map to find classroom buildings. Today my kids know the campus like the back of their hands. They know it so well that due to the extreme heat yesterday we entered a building and walked through the maze of pedways under the buildings to where we were parked without going back outside.
Time is not standing still for this campus as we could tell from all the construction areas. We’ve seen old campus buildings razed and new buildings constructed. We’ve seen two college presidents in ten years. Time is not standing still for our family either. Ten years has flown by and now we are all onto our next venture of life.
Do you recall your college days or the days that you packed up to head off for the first time from home? Now is the time for you to pull out your laptop or grab paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of those life-changing times.