Dear Marsh Hall,
I really hate to admit that I am sad to leave you. I have been here half my college career so I should be ready to move on and yet, as I walk through your halls one last time, I am surrounded by memories, like ghosts in an ancient grave yard.
I see the ghost of myself, a small naïve freshman, standing in the doorway of 181, standing on her toes, her mouth on that of her surprised boyfriend in a kiss. That is the ghost of my first kiss, one that I stole from his mouth in a spur of the moment idea. Thank you Marsh Hall, for without you I would have never met Erik and found my first love.
Further down the hall, in room 171, I see another one of my ghosts. This ghost is no longer the naïve freshman, carelessly kissing her boyfriend. She is more battle worn, and now understands the pressure of college. Her heart is weighed down with the troubles of forty residents, all of whom she sees as her children. Yet, I watch this ghost fight on, and all I can see is her smile as she speaks to all of her residents. They are not burdens, but people she truly cares for. Thank you Marsh Hall, for teaching me about the power of perseverance and what it truly means to be responsible for something.
I walk even further through the building, and peak my head into the gym, one last time. There, I see another me, this one different than the others. She is on a treadmill, eyes locked on a nonexistent horizon. I can see the breath struggle in her chest as she is forcing her feet to run just a few more steps to make it to her goal. Thank you Marsh Hall. It was in your gym where I became a runner and where I took those terrifying first few steps of training.
I look to my left and see the Ground Floor Lounge, the heart and soul of the building. Several ghosts, all so familiar to me, sit on the worn grey leather couch, brightly colored video games flashing on the TV in front of them. These are the ghosts of my friends on our typical Friday night, more content with pizza and video games than booze and parties. Thank you Marsh Hall, for helping me find my family away from my family. I know for sure I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the last two years without them.
The large, always broken, glass doors close behind me and I look back at your large brick exterior. Marsh Hall, you are more than just a building, you are my home. You are the first home I created away from my parents, and for that reason. I will always hold you in my heart. Those ghosts I mentioned, they will be there, and in my heart, forever. My ghosts will not be lonely, for as the years go on more and more ghosts of others will fill your halls, turning you from an empty building to a home. For all those you are entering Marsh Hall next year and are reading this, please make your own ghosts and tell mine that I say hello.
See you soon Marsh,