With a trembling heart, first-year Bwogger steps onto campus for the first time, and here are her ruminations from this delayed—yet still fateful—encounter.

My heart has longed to meet you, know you, and claim you as my own. Sauntering down College Walk, images of the fantasized memories that I have already made with you flashed through my mind. Yes, here is where I *would have* took my obligatory Tree Lighting photos on that snow-laden night. There, that is where *would have* tried to make awkward conversations with the people I met during NSOP. 

Forcing myself out of fantasyland, I remind myself that I am actually on campus now. Going to Lerner to swab my own nostrils felt a dream come true.

In my naive excitement, I arrived too early for that Gateway test. I gazed longingly at Low Beach—ah yes, that famed spot that I have long imagined myself laying—and I greedily went up the steps. One, two, three, I counted quietly in my heart. I dared not to ascend too high, too fast, as it felt improper. I did not want to rush my introduction with you. 

And you were breathtaking. My vision expanded as I took in the manicured lawns and Butler in front of me, and I thought about the people before me who have walked the same steps. Was I being too sentimental? I was just walking up some stone steps.

I had worried that in my tortured separation from you, I had distorted your beauty in my mind and that I would be met with disappointment when I arrived. While I definitely did exaggerate my imagined interactions, I felt calm when I finally did see you and was not at all let down. I took every step with a kind of ceremonial solemnity, feeling each time my weight shifted from my heel to my toes. I felt grounded. Perhaps, if I had met you in August, I would have been more uneasy, unsure, and eager to please, but after these months of unplanned distance, I only feel grateful and lucky to be in your presence.

Image via Bwog Archives