subject line: freshman year.


indianapolis, indiana

Freshman year was windows foggy on a car with too many people in its seats, loud music playing and phones being passed around to find the perfect song. It was driving around the beaten-down town in the dark the night we finished finals. And it was experiencing life with the people we least expected to become friends with...but at the end of it all, we were glad we did because of what they taught us and because of all the memories we made.

It was knowing that arm behind your back to create more space for the road trip belonged to a boy who thought you were beautiful, who wanted to say something but was too afraid. Until he did and you blushed and told him you didn’t know what to say. Freshman year was new for you when it came to boys, especially when it came to him. You let yourself be patient and you tried hard to let yourself feel things...but in the end you knew you could never love him the way he wanted you to. And it was OK.

It was the year to discover the life-giving people you needed by your side, and it was the year to learn which people might not be as close anymore.

You would be torn open by a God who wanted you so badly as his daughter. You would fight him and you would question him and you would even look up different schools to move to, but you knew you would have to stay so you could learn to love and trust and follow him there too.

Freshman year was sitting on her floor and letting her cry while she told you what happened first semester, how she hated who she was. And you didn’t know what to say so you just listened and buried your face in her hair that smelled like smoke. “Because I was so stressed”, she said. And second semester was watching her smile again, watching her joy come back even if she had to cry sometimes. It was walking with her and laughing too hard in the library with her. It was hearing about the boy who listened, the boy who spoke more truth than you could, the boy she would begin to call hers. And freshman year was catching her with that boy as she passed out in a tattoo parlor and knowing that you wanted to stay to catch her again if she needed it - and even letting her catch you too when you allowed yourself to fall down.

Freshman year was stopping in their room to just say hi or to cuddle in her bed or to steal a snack. It was sitting on that floor, doing homework and eating a pizza from the only place that delivered to a dorm. At it was walking down to see that room empty, knowing that it would hold two entirely new people next year and wondering who they were and what they would be like.

It was laughing really hard and doing lunges in front of the windows of the gym and complaining all day about the snow. It was walking back to the dorms from the art building with him and making art with a girl with really great tattoos.

Freshman year, you were good to me.