This post is dedicated to all of my Bennies and Johnnies! Thank you for always supporting my writing and crop tops! If this somehow gets back to Life Safety, please don’t write me up.
All summer I knew the day would come.
It always seems to be the hottest day of the summer, where it quite literally feels like 900 degrees with no chance of cooling down and humidity is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The day where, despite the heat, the only thing you want to do is move furniture around and turn an empty apartment into your new home. Because on this day, there is nothing but joy and it is something that is felt in your core as you mark a new beginning. The day students have marked on their calendar; College move-in day. This time around, this day will come and go without me.
This week, Bennies and Johnnies will begin the journey that so many of us Alumni wish we could get back. Whether you’re a first-year just starting your journey or a senior realizing that you too will soon be in this position. I would give anything to have just one semester back at CSB/SJU.
I miss it. The familiarity of it all, the way people stopped to ask you how you were and genuinely cared. The goofing off in the library but the overwhelming stress of feeling like the work would never end. The feeling of endless possibility, the joy of knowing how bright the future is but the fear of not knowing what it all meant. I miss stepping onto campus and instantly feeling like I’m part of something bigger. I miss the nights that started out with, “the work never ends but college does,” even though they had a tendency to escalate quickly. I miss the inspiring Bennies, Johnnies and professors I got to interact with every day that constantly pushed me to be better. I miss my home.
That’s the thing about CSB/SJU, even though you leave it, it never leaves you.
With me, I will always have nights in Lottie with two of my best friends trying to figure out life over a bottle of 99 Apples. I will always have the warmth of the CSB/SJU community on a crisp fall Saturday during a Johnnie football game. With me, I will always have the lessons learned both in and out of the classroom. I will have the memories of FAMSAK and probably the few extra pounds gained from it. I will always have the moment when I first time I saw ‘my Johnnie’ and realizing that he would always be important to me. I will always be haunted by being homeless in St. Joe for part of a summer and breaking into the Power House. With me, will always be the encouragement I received from my professors and employers, who saw potential in me before I could see it in myself. With me, I will have every moment where I laughed so hard I cried and cried so hard that I laughed at how ridiculous I was. I will have every struggle bus morning where my friends and I promised one another we would ‘never drink again.’ But more importantly, with me I will forever have my Bennies and Johnnies who quickly turned from friends to family.
To all of you current Bennies and Johnnies, just know that you are a part of something magical. Enjoy your time because I can promise you it goes by quicker than you’d think and hope. One day you’re moving into your freshman dorm, so unsure of the future you picked or this new journey you’re about to take, and the next day, your with your best friends crying on a porch, wearing matching Sal’s sweatshirts and passing around a bottle of apple pie reminiscing about your time.