Admittedly, being prompted to write about my favorite memory at Fairfield University is a tough task. Fairfield has been my home for the past two years, and throughout the months of dragging myself through classes (especially those that were online), I also had the task of transforming my shy personality into one that could, at the very least, hold small talk for more than thirty seconds. It is safe to say that I succeeded in doing this all while keeping my sense of self intact; these years have been the best two of my life. To encapsulate that in one memory has proven to be difficult, to say the least, but at least I have options.
I considered writing about eating quesadillas for lunch on a rainy Wednesday with my friends during my first year after French class. One of the better things about the Tully was the stir-fry station, filled with red pans for students to cook in. One of my friends had the idea of asking the worker at the Tex-Mex station for a grand total of nine tortillas, which was a courageous act on her part. My friend then used all of the shredded cheese she could find to make family lunch for all of us. Though I had just suffered through fifty minutes of my introductory level foreign language credit, I felt more at peace with these friends than I had in a while.
I also thought about writing about the times I stayed up for hours and hours in Jogues Hall Room 112 with people who would become my lifeline during my first year, and who I still talk to today despite not living together. As people who were more focused on studying than anything else, it was hard for us to break out of the cycle of stress that we incurred on ourselves. Those nights, however, we would take a breather, forget that we had class the next day and take solace in each other’s company. I have laughed, cried, and forced existential crises upon my friends in that room, and I knew that I had made at least one life long friend there, which I never had before. These are nights that every college student should have, and if it was possible for me, I strongly believe it is for everyone else.
Part of me wants to write about a trip to Hartford I took with the girl I am lucky enough to call my best friend, but that is a story best left unsaid. Regardless of the chaos of those two days, it solidified our friendship. You will have a lot of those memories, too.
During finals week, which is perhaps the most stressful time for any college student aside from midterms, my roommate and I put on some throwback music and sang (extremely loudly), ignoring the fact that it was 12:00 a.m. Ironically, I would become a Resident Assistant the next year, so it would be my duty to enforce quiet hours, but in that moment, it mattered more that my roommate and I weren’t crushed by stress, and instead we chose to sing and dance our way through it. There is still video evidence of it, and I still go back to watch it when I miss her. Even though we lead very different lives, we ended up being good friends who supported each other in whatever ways we knew how to.
Watching the sunrise with my RA friends, who adopted me into their group seamlessly, with a staff I wasn’t even on is another memory that stands out to me. I have countless pictures of the sun rising behind their glowing faces, sitting on the abandoned lifeguard chair, barely yawning even though it was early in the morning. Afterwards, we made pancakes for each other and talked for hours. It was the best day before spring break I think I’ll ever have.
I even made new friends during my sophomore year, and we spent a night talking about what happens after we die, where we wanted to live after college and how it would be when we went our separate ways. I came back after the RAs were off duty and the rest of the building was quiet.
There is so much more that I can write about, like interviewing Macklemore, barely making it on time to RA training because I was off campus, going to my RA’s programs, switching my major and knowing I was going to be taking classes I truly enjoyed and walking up to Bellarmine at 2:00 am to scream my lungs out, but in the end, nothing could perfectly fit. This is not because these memories are not special enough, but because each one of them is almost too special: everything I have done here is worth writing about. I have been alone, I have been surrounded with people, I have been with one or two friends and for every old memory I have, I have made at least five more. That’s the thing about Fairfield – there are so many opportunities to make memories out of both the special and the mundane that it becomes hard to pick one specific memory.
Welcome home, new Stags. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I have.