Bodies bounce off each other in the narrow hall, bruising elbows, banging knees and straining backs. Still everyone tries to put on a happy face. Sarah knows the importance of first impressions and is going to be darn sure to make on. Mom rolled her eyes on her choice of dress when she left and dad said nothing, though he squeezed the steering wheel so tight his knuckles were turning white for the first half hour of the three hour ride to Ithaca. She loves him and understands. Daddy’s little girl is growing up and he is just not ready for it. It is actually kind of sweet.
They both wonder why she brought so many clothes, as if she could just come home every weekend. Mom goes on about how she won’t be there to do her laundry and hands her a roll of quarters and Sarah almost dies when dad mutters something about needing it as a boy walks by. They raised her right, why can’t they see that? They fuss forever over every box even though she tells them just set it down wherever so she can figure out later how she likes things.
Besides that, though, it is the best day of her life (so far, as she often says at these times.) Her roommate isn’t here yet, but the girls in the dorm next door all listen to the same music and she is super excited about getting to know those girls from the City. She’s never met anyone like that, even though there were a couple, she thinks, back home. That is what college is all about, right, meeting new and interesting people.
Like the boy from North Carolina with the cool accent, or the girl from California, or even the girl from Rochester, even if that was just down the road from her. She is so happy to be here. When mom and dad leave she will finally be able to start her life on her own. When they leave, she knows the butterflies will go away. It is all going to be great.