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Trip Down Memory Lane: Installment #3

May 10th, 2011 cmcurr11

On the second day of Freshman Orientation, Dean Goodwin met us in the Mary Chapel and gave us a piece of paper and an envelope. The envelope and piece of paper had the intimidating phrase “CLASS OF 2011” blazoned across it, and, at the time, May of 2011 seemed so far away. She asked us to write down our hopes for this year and what gifts we brought to the Holy Cross community. Then we sealed up the envelope and handed them into her. We all wondered when (more like if) we’d ever see those envelopes again.

Fast forward to this evening. I stopped by my mailbox, and there was an envelope with my freshman year handwriting on it.

I could tell it’s from my freshman year because a) that’s not how I write (well, that’s how I used to write when I was trying to make it look good) and b) I recognize the envelope instantly.

The letter itself brought me back to August of 2007. I vividly remember sitting in the Mary chapel (I can actually tell you which chair) and I remember the emotions that were racing through my mind. It was only the second day of Orientation – I still didn’t know anyone save my roommate, Carrie, and she was in another orientation group. I was lost, confused, and afraid. That reflection exercise in the Mary chapel made me sit down and focus on why I chose Holy Cross, what I expected from my education, and how I knew that this was the place for me.

My handwriting hasn’t improved. In fact, it’s become worse. Actually, “my awful handwriting” is something that I wrote under the “Gifts I bring to the Holy Cross community” section.

But reading the “Hopes for this year” part was interesting. In my typical Colleen fashion, the first one that I wrote down was “do well in classes.” But the next ones were illuminating (at least, looking back on them). I wrote that I hoped to “open my mind to new ideas in new classes” and to “make friends that will last a lifetime.” The last entry was “to find myself.” Quite bold hopes, really! But, in all honesty, I’ve been able to make those hopes into a reality. Over the past four years, I have been able to explore new ideas, challenge my old ways of thinking, find amazing friends that will last a lifetime, and, in the process of it all, discover my strengths and talents (and weaknesses too). So, yes, I plotted out a lot of hopes that seemed almost infeasible for four years. But, yet, at least I didn’t expect the most impossible – I readily accepted back then that my handwriting is awful, and there’s nothing that even a four year Jesuit education can do to change that.

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