October 17, 2017
By Anonymous

Dan sat on his bed with a feeling of dread filling him as he looked at the empty box sitting tauntingly in the middle of his cluttered bedroom. It was a simple brown cardboard box that was labeled, College, and it was completely empty. Dan sat on his bed watching the clock count down the minutes until he had to leave. Today was the day he was leaving for college, and he couldn’t bring himself to start to pack his things. That morning  at breakfast his dad had asked him, “are you excited for college?”
“Of course,” he replied. Knowing he didn’t mean it. He thought about this now as he sat staring at the box knowing he had to start packing, but every time he tried to he was filled with anxiety at the thought of leaving his hometown in upstate New York to go to school in California. Hundreds of miles away from everything he knew. “Have you finished packing yet?” His mom called up the stairs.
“Yes,” he lied. “Now I really have to start packing.” He thought to himself. He slowly stood up and looked around the room. He saw the posters of his favorite bands, and teams on the walls. The old sports magazines piled in the corner, and the box of old toys peaking out from his open closet. He felt a wave of nostalgia overtake him as he started to place the things he was taking with him in the box. As he packed he thought about the life he had here. The days as a kid spent playing outside for hours in the hot summer. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the muddy clothes. He thought about his first days of elementary school and the fear he felt then. Then how that fear had changed to excitement and left him looking forward to school. As he placed more thing in the box, it slowly began to fill. While he was packing he came upon a note written to his parents from his middle school science teacher. It was outlining the first week of school. He remembered that week fondly. They had done a fun lab and it had gotten him familiar with the school and excited about middle school. Dan began to relax remembering his other times starting over at new places. The packing became easier and he looked down to find that the box was almost full. As he looked around the room for more things to pack, his gaze settled on his high school football jersey. As he looked at it he remembered how good his high school career had been. The memories he had made and the people he met. He thought about how that started. The uncertainty of the first few week as a freshmen. He thought about how that had changed to some of the best times in his life. As he was thinking of this he finished packing. He was surprised at how easy it had been and how much better he felt. He carried the now filled box down the stairs, and found his dad waiting for him. “Are you excited for college?” His dad asked.
“Of course!” He replied. This time he meant every word.

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