The feeling of being home surrounded by loving family is like no other in this world. After my midterms, I couldn’t fully relax until everything was packed into duffel bags and I called a Lyft to take me to my mom, step-dad, and little brother. I spent time with my sibling, my pets, my mom, and my little cousin. I had time to sleep in, relax, and worry about absolutely nothing. It’s hard to believe that very soon, I will be back in my dorm with my roommates, working hard and working through stress again. As spring break comes to a close, I’ve realized something significant. I’ve found that no matter how busy life gets, or how busy school gets, it is always possible to make time to catch up with the people you care about who have played a role in who you are and where you are today.
After my midterms were over, I texted former teachers inquiring about their availability during the following week. I heard back from everyone, and made plans to spend time with them. On Monday, I met up with my former Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Mrs. Saccaat, in Starbucks in my hometown. She’s like a second mom, and worked with me from kindergarten up until my senior year of high school. On Wednesday, I met up with my former para professional Ms. Q., who not only translated my materials, but taught me things such as cutting my nails, doing my hair, and gaining confidence in myself for two years of my high school career. I hung out with her students, and had dinner with her family. On Thursday morning, I met up with one of my close friends from high school named Amanda; our third musketeer Tia was sick. We went to lunch, laughed, joked, and talked. In the afternoon, I got a manicure with my former Orientation and Mobility instructor Mrs. Peters. We talked about life, and all the while I felt happy inside, knowing that I was able to keep in touch with one of the very few people who empowered me and showed me I was capable of crossing streets and being a strong traveler. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable living in the city if I hadn’t been lucky enough to have her as a teacher and a friend. On Friday, I caught up with my former Adaptive PE teacher Ms. Brophy over hot chocolate. We talked about everything from travels to workload, and I smiled, because I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with weights, fitness, and sports if she hadn’t been there to teach me how to adapt things and do things independently to take control of my health. Friday night, I walked around Arlington with Mrs. Crohan,one of the most influential blind women I know. I met her when I was in first grade, and she has been a teacher, a mentor, and a friend ever since. There are a few people I didn’t get to see, who I plan to catch up with soon, but I am so happy that I got to spend time with the people who shaped me. I had a few friends who drifted away once they went to college, and stopped reaching out or responding to contact from people who had been their friends or teachers. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be one of those people.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to get busy and caught up in life when you’re in college, but for me, it’s important to not forget the people who love you and who helped you get to where you are and be who you are. I didn’t reach out to everyone out of obligation. I did it, because I love them all, and I don’t know where I would be without them. If there’s one thing I learned from success, it’s that I don’t do it alone, and without my little army of support, I couldn’t do the things I do. So to everyone struggling to keep up with people they care about, a quick text or email when someone pops into your mind goes a long way. Reaching out and staying in touch doesn’t always mean a coffee date, and that’s okay. Just drop a line to let people know you’re thinking of them, because it’s not enough to say don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget who got you here, and who continues to get you through. College isn’t an excuse, so if you really care about people and want them to know, take a second to make a call, or send a text, because they were there for you when you needed guidance, strength, and support. That should never be taken for granted.