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Four Years at the Mount - Senior Year

Senior Year

Spring is Here!

Julia Mulqueen

(4/2012) Spring is positively the best time to visit the Mount Saint Maryís campus. The school is abuzz with activities. Students are outside soaking up the sunís rays, and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Naturally, I cannot sit inside doing my homework on a beautiful, sunny day. I cannot squander the 80 degree weather sitting at a desk. For me, every time the sun is shining, all bets are off. I temporarily rescind my personal commitment to complete my homework and allow myself to wander outside. I promise myself that I will be responsible and return to my homework in an hour...

I stroll outside of the Mountís newest dorm building, Bicentennial, and make my way to the quad. The sun is high in the sky and deliciously warm. By the apartments, juniors and seniors are lighting charcoal and preparing to grill. Laughter envelops the towers, and faces are lit with smiles.

I take a deep breath and fill my lungs with the fresh spring air. I gaze up and to my right at the volleyball court. A game is going on with five on each side. I walk closer and realize that I know all of the people playing. My roommate Dasha calls out to me once she see that itís me. "Julia, come play with us!" I stroll up the grassy slope to the edge of the court, slip off my sandals, and dig my toes into the warm sand. I gaze up with false shyness. "Dasha, you know Iím awful at volleyball! And Iím terrified of the ball!" She smiles, and the game begins again.

After a few minutes, I sink down into the lush grass, leaving my toes buried deep in the sand. Now, the game is tied and one of my friends says she has to leave. Apologizing, she moves off the court and heads back to her dorm. Dashaís head snaps to the left to look directly at me. "Now we definitely need you!" she says. "Otherwise, the teams will be uneven."

I look at my sandy toes. I have a deep and completely illogical fear of volleyball. It stems from my childhood when I used to watch my cousins play in their backyard. I am one of the youngest cousins; most of them are at least 10 years older than me. Whenever they played volleyball, they played with passion. I, being 10 years their junior, would watch from the sidelines as my cousins spiked the ball again and again, narrowly missing each otherís heads. I would jump in every once and a while, and my cousins would playfully tease me about the shrill screams that would emit from me whenever someone spiked the ball.

I snap out of my reminiscing as I realize that Dasha and the rest of my friends are calling my name. So I brush the sand from my toes, stand up and join them on the court. We start playing, and to my surprise, I soon realize that I am not as terrible at volleyball as I had remembered. I am not good, no doubt, but I am good enough to hold my own. I start to actually enjoy myself, and I begin to ham it up, calling out the only volleyball-type catchphrases I know, "Set me up!" and "Power shot!"

We play a close match, 24-22, and I decide to wander back toward the apartments where another group of friends are throwing a Frisbee. Passing the guitar player, the group of sunbathers and the cluster of people trying to study but getting nowhere, I make it to my friend Ashley. "Címon, Jules! Donít go back inside and do homework! We can study later; play Frisbee!" she shouts with characteristic enthusiasm. "Well, if I must" I reply jokingly. I join the circle happily, and we play for what must be an hour. The sun starts to dip lower and lower in the sky, casting brilliant streaks of gold, crimson and plum across the sky. ĎThis must be what heaven is like,í I think to myself.

As dusk begins to settle in, I look around the circle knowing the impending darkness means it is time for me to finish-ehem, start-that homework of mine. I bow out and make my way back to Bicentennial. As I walk back, I think about that fourth pillar of the Mount, community. The first three are faith, discovery and leadership. I never really understood until this moment what the big commotion was about them. I knew they were important, but what I have failed to realize until just now is that they are the attributes which set apart this wonderful university. Where else would I have been so lovingly accepted into a community? This day has taught me that the community here is the schoolís greatest achievement, and now-a-days, community is not to be taken for granted.

As I walk I realize another reason why the community is so special. When I thought earlier, ĎThis is what heaven must be like,í I was actually closer to the truth than I first realized. Drenched in the beauty of the setting sun and enfolded by the arms of the community, I could not help by think that way. Will not heaven be a community gathered? A people worshipping together, in perfect unity? So in this way, Mount Saint Maryís with her amazing community of students, faculty, staff and townspeople is imaging heaven on earth; she is helping all who cross her path to live life to the fullest.

Read other articles by Julia Mulqueen