Packing Prose and Woes

Nicole Von Wilczur
August 31, 2016

Today is Tuesday, August 30th. It’s 12:32pm, and so far all day I’ve been back and forth between packing haphazardly and watching the first five minutes of different movies on Netflix, unable to like one enough to commit to it fully.  

While nothing particularly exciting is happening to me today, about 3,000 miles away, in the northeast corner of the United States, the upperclassman at the liberal arts school I’ve attended for the past two years are moving in for another semester of college. At the same time, the new freshman students are just returning to campus from their pre-orientation trips- some sweaty, others bloodied after having spent the last three days adventuring in the wilderness of the great state of Maine. These five hundred fresh faces are ones that I won’t know and who won’t know me until the spring. Though I only turned twenty a little over a week ago, their presence makes me feel old.  

This afternoon, everyone will gather at the fieldhouse for our school’s annual lobster bake. It’ll still be hot outside (for a few more weeks at least) and people will be dressed in their nicest clothes, reuniting with the friends they haven’t seen since May. There will be a lot of hugging and phones will be in every hand to take pictures commemorating the start of another year at Bowdoin. I unlock my own phone to view the selfies I’ve just received of smiling faces in pretty summer dresses and scroll through photos of lobster feasts. I return to packing my suitcase and wonder how everything I need for the next four months can possibly fit in one bag and if my friends remembered today that I wouldn’t be there and if they miss me as much as I miss them.

I pick up a sweater I just bought last week and put it in my suitcase; it’s a trendy, cropped brown turtleneck. I can envision myself wearing it with a high waisted skirt and black booties, and think about how maybe I’ll put on the outfit on a chillier night in Granada while I’m out with friends. Perhaps we’ll be at a restaurant, eating tapas together, laughing, having a nice time. It’s a lovely thought, but it’s short lived.

A voice has interrupted the brown sweater fantasy, and it worries about how I plan to make these “friends” I’m thinking of. It also likes to ask questions like: Will I get along with my homestay family? How will my Spanish hold up in a foreign country? Will I settle quickly or miss home? And on and on and on… I stop packing and pick another movie to watch.

Today is Tuesday August 30th. It’s four days now. Four days until I fly east and wake up in a different country for the first time ever. I wonder what happens to the time that people lose while flying, and if it ever gets made up at some other point in life. I'm hopeful.

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Nicole Von Wilczur

My name is Nicole von Wilczur, from Phoenix, Arizona. I'm a rising college junior attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. When I'm not studying, I enjoy fighting for social justice, being outdoors, photography, and learning to recite the lyrics to 90's and early 2000's rap songs. I've never traveled outside of the US, so I am very excited for the opportunity to be studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and sharing my experiences with you!

2016 Fall
Home University:
Bowdoin College
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