You know a person in quarantine has become really desperate when they Google “countdown creator” and set a time for September 12th: their arrival date for the new school year at Groton.
I’m not going to lie–the quarantine life has its ups and downs. Though I spent a lot of time in the comfort of my own company, the retirement neighborhood I stayed in (with its lack of anyone my age) started to weigh on me. My lonely summer had me building up to this grand date of September 12th.
During this period of anticipation, my mind wandered around the Groton campus. I daydreamed about being back at school: the lush greens of the Circle, the breathless laughter of late-night dorm conversations, and the majestic sunlit backdrop of the Chapel. I had missed the energy of campus life and all the people that made Groton such a great place.
Through routine weeks of waking up, eating, studying, watching TV, and staring into black space, I kept opening that countdown tab to check as the days counted down to zero … and, sure enough, that day came. I gladly traded out my usual 13-hour flight for a road trip from New Jersey and set foot on campus. After looking at the Circle through Instagram for the whole summer, seeing Groton in person again was absolutely beautiful.
The sun reflected from the Athletic Center windows as I stepped out of the car, and it reminded me of a moment in Third Form; I had tried to get a perfect shot of the picturesque shine of the glass. As I walked up through the fields, I was reminded of my short-lived JV lacrosse career. And the pavement around the Circle–site of last-minute sprints to the Chapel and late-night PB&J trips. When the wave of memories rushed over me at that moment, I knew I was back at my second home.
After some friendly greetings and nose swabs, I was back at my dorm with a castle of packing boxes. Yes, I dreaded sorting my terrifying mess of belongings, but I found a certain warmth in unpacking again.
And … here I am, writing from my new room in Kelly’s Dorm. There’s a view of a tree-filled backyard from my window, and the sunlight peeks through onto my desk perfectly. Snuggling against the back of my chair, I finally removed the countdown from my bookmark tab.