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A Back-to-School Reminder

by Micah Wilkins, Editor-in-Chief

After every break that I return to school, I feel more and more as though I’m coming back home. Whether I return to frost and fog or green, lush trees, it feels familiar, comfortable, safe. The more time I spend here, the more I feel the strength and significance of this community.

But when I returned to this cold, windy campus in mid-January, I had no idea that my position in this community was in jeopardy.

My first week back this semester was marked by distress, tears, frustration, despair. I was in danger of losing my spots in my classes. I was not allowed to eat meals with my friends. I was not even technically supposed to be living in my dorm.

On the first day of classes, all of my teachers asked me the same thing: “Have you gone to Accounting? They’re looking for you.” Apparently there was a block on my account upon my return to school, one that I knew nothing about until I finally went to the Accounting office to see what was going on.

I had an overdue balance, one that I could barely wrap my head around. I called my mom, she talked me down, we made a small payment. But it was not enough. I spent the week an anxious, sad mess. Just when I thought that the problem had resolved, it would reappear, and each time it was a heavier blow.

A great portion of my life is contained within the parameters of this campus. Down by the river, on the third floor of Jensen, in the Echo office, on the Cowpie lawn, in EcoDorm. I have spent almost three years of my life here, and I have learned probably 10 years worth of knowledge in that time. This place has shaped me in such a way that no other environment, no other community has. I am a part of Wilson and it is a part of me.

My classes that I was excited for, the job that I had worked years for, the professors and peers who enlightened me, all of these huge, important things could have stopped being a part of my life, all in an instant.

That week, through the sobs, I learned a great lesson. Though this is my sixth semester at Warren Wilson, it could very well have been my last. I was reminded that my place here is not certain, not permanent.

Each of us sacrifices a lot to be here, whether it’s the amount of money that we pay or the loved ones we leave behind. We can argue whether or not it’s worth it, but in that week, when I feared that everything could be taken away from under my feet, I realized instantly how badly I wanted to be here, and how badly I needed to be here.

Being at this school is an immense entitlement, an opportunity that we should not take for granted. So take advantage of it. Go swimming in the river in February. Play music in Kittredge. Squeeze a stressed friend’s shoulder. Bake a loaf of bread for your dorm. Hug your roommate.

Smile because we are all lucky to be here.


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