I’ve noticed that I tend to do things differently than most people; or at least, I tend to do things out of their prescribed order.  For instance, most people go to a school, and then transfer and stay there.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I went to a school, transferred, and then got sent back.  The result is that the Stony Brook University West Campus has book-ended my undergraduate career.  When I was a freshman, I hated the campus with a burning passion.  I was perpetually miserable and depressed, and I came home every weekend.  Now, as a senior, I still hate the campus, though for different reasons.  I hate it because it’s not Southampton, I hate it because I never agreed to come back, I hate it because of what it did to Southampton…

All things considered, I’m in a much better place now than I was when I was a freshman, and I’d like to think that that will help me make the most of the opportunities this year will present, as well as simply allow me to keep my head down and get through this year healthy and happy.

When I was driving back earlier this evening with the sun almost completely obscuring my vision, I remembered how I used to cry every Sunday night when my mom was driving me back to my dorm.  She used to cry, too.  I think saying that I was miserable is a horrible understatement, but it’s the word that I keep coming back to.  I wasn’t miserable to be speeding back to school today.  Certainly, there are other places I would rather have been speeding to…  Mexico sounds much nicer than Stony Brook…  But, I digress.  There are other places that I would rather have been speeding to, but I was speeding back to the Brook.  My interview this afternoon put me in a different frame of mind.  I realized something…

As a Franciscan, I’m called to love everyone as Jesus loved, and to preach the Gospel at all times (using words only when absolutely necessary), but as a former Southampton student, I’ve been charged with the responsibility of explaining what the campus was and why it was and is important to me, us, them and the world.  The ruling of the lawsuit proved that what we’re fighting for was right, and there aren’t that many times that anyone gives or gets that definite an answer in life.  So, tonight, I’m going to do the rest of my readings, and maybe even get a head-start on the project I managed to ignore all weekend.  Then, if there’s still time, I’m going to go back to work on my book.  Fears of contamination and diva characters aside.  Because that book and the friendships that Southampton gave me are the most important things in my life.  Southampton taught me how to love and how to live.  I’m a much better person because of the 2 years I had there, and 2 years of having everything is so much better than never knowing what it feels like to have it all.

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