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Summer at home yields to the adventure of college

Late August: the season of Target, Ikea, growing up, leaving home. This week classes started at college campuses around the country. Parents sobbed. Teenagers pretended to be fine then broke down and sobbed, then noticed other teenagers and neglected to call their sobbing parents for four or five days. • Alexa Volland, a fresh graduate of Seminole High, documented the longest summer of her young life. The summer she couldn't wait to put behind her. The one she didn't want to end.

Kelley Benham, enterprise editor

June 16

10:56. I should be going to sleep; orientation for USF St. Pete is tomorrow morning. I really hope my roommate isn't some loser freak. Orientation is just a cruel joke. I'll get a quick taste of college life, then have to come home two days later.

I just graduated from high school. Weird.

June 24

I love Ikea. I went for the first time ever with my mom today to get dorm stuff. That place is a straight up amusement park. We ran around and played in all the fake rooms like in (500) Days of Summer, minus Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Ooooooooo he is so fine.) When we got home we unwrapped everything and made a fake dorm. I'm even more ready to leave the nest. Less than two months . . . pleeeease god, make it go by fast.

I need to work out tomorrow, I can't be looking flabby for college.

July 3

Why do I feel like I'm the only one who didn't go to summer session? I stayed home to have the best summer ever while most of my friends go off to school, yet I'm the one in my unicorn pajamas at 9 a.m. Awesome.

July 8

I saw Toy Story 3. Bawled my eyes out. When Woody was about to get incinerated I lost it. It made me feel so guilty about putting all my American Girls in a box. When I got home I took them out of the bin and told them I was sorry. Would it be weird to bring all of them to college?

July 12

My mom cooked stir fry for dinner tonight. I'm going to miss that the most about home. Then I told her I was going to get my nose pierced in college. She look unpleased, to say the least.

Aug. 4

Things I'm going to miss:

• Mom's biscuits and gravy

• Simba

• My walk-in closet

• My bed

• Elizabeth, Mildrid and Lily sleepovers

• Wii

• Mom and Dad and Bobby . . . I guess

Things I'm not going to miss:

• Being told my car is disgusting

• High school

• Waking up at 6 a.m. for school

• How there is absolutely nothing to do in Seminole

Aug. 14

I was cleaning out my closet when I went behind one of the dressers and found the wall me and my friends used to write on in middle school. It was like that movie Secret Garden. We were pretty lame back in the day — "MC loves Alexa times big numbers," and mean things written about the boys who broke our 13-year-old hearts.

The wall was marked 12/8/06. Feels like not that long ago.

Aug. 19

My parents started building a bar. I haven't even moved out yet! I can tell they are going to miss me a lot.

I move in two days. Everything about home makes me cry. Simba came and laid next to me on my bed. I cried. I started printing pictures for my dorm room. I cried. I THINK about leaving home and I cry.

It's late. Me and Mom just finished sitting on her closet floor playing with my old prom dresses and looking at my baby clothes. She keeps saying she's tired and is going to bed, then every 15 minutes comes in and asks me if I want to watch a movie.

Aug. 20

This is my last night in my old room. It's 2:10 a.m. This is the only room I have ever had; I've lived in the same house my whole life. We started packing the car tonight.

Aug. 21

I love how the day I have to move in, it rains. Not a drizzle, but a tropical storm kind of rain. My suitcase was soaking, all my bedding was wet and I met my roommate Lauren looking like complete crap. Both of my roommates seem pretty cool, kind of quiet. That will change. Saying bye kind of sucked. Mom, Dad and Bobby followed me up the parking garage to drop my car off, then we said bye. I cried. THEN we all had to get in the other car and drive down the parking garage just to say bye again. I miss them already, it's weird being away. Really weird. I want my old bed back.

Aug. 23

Today was the first day of classes. I woke up early, got to my Spanish II class a half-hour before it started and realized I brought my math book. I'm an idiot.

No homework tonight. Score. Time to go mingle.

Aug. 24

I love college. Being away from home is so awesome. Still miss Simba though. Today was my first honors class — it was in an old house on campus. A few girls and I walked in and it was a scene from the Dead Poets Society. There was a cat running around and all these decorative hanging sailboats, it smelled like my grandma's basement, and our desks are just a bunch of couches scattered around. It was awesome.

In other news, Ryan set his room on fire. The boy can't make chicken cutlets. All the knobs on the stove were melted off and the room reeked. We all tried to clean for a little bit, then his roommates and I sat on the couch and watched trashy VH1 reality TV. Lauren and I are going to plan an Ikea trip soon, our living room looks like guys live there. All in all, good day.

Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.

Summer at home yields to the adventure of college 08/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 27, 2010 6:15pm]
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