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Four Years at the Mount

Junior Year

Springtime College Cookout

Samantha Strub
MSM Class of 2013

(4/2012) Light the Fire! Take out the burgers, buns, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, ketchup and mustard. Open up a cold refreshing drink.

Then the smells of a delicious cookout will drift towards the open windows of the apartments. You run to the sill to discover what the delicious smells are. You see your friends with total strangers gathered around the grill and picnic tables. Your friends wave and yell at you to come down and join the fun. The warm weather is just too tempting. Your course work gets set aside and forgotten, as you wander down the apartment stairs and step outside into the sunshine.

The world is finally blossoming into the warm and inviting weather of spring. The snow and the cold crisp winds have left, and the sun beams down. People crawl out of their hibernating slumbers into the light. The windows are open to let in the warm breeze, the birds chirp, and the sun shines. The warm weather is too tempting to sit inside for long. It just beckons you outside into spring’s embrace.

Once you wander down the apartment stairs and open the door, the warm fresh air greets you with many stimulating aromas. The smells pull you in, along with the cheers of your friends who have been trying to beckon you out into the sunshine to relax. Your voice of reason chimes in, telling you that you really need to finish your work. However, you cannot bring your feet to move anywhere near the doors of the apartments.

Instead, your feet guide you to the grill, where the wonderful scents come from. You place your order and chit-chat with your friends. Your feet continue to move further into the sunshine. You end up on the lawn where you slip off your shoes and bury your feet in the cool grass. Your friends have already sprawled out. You lie down next to them and bask in the sunshine while gossiping about all the hot campus news.

You are living in a moment in time when there are no cares at all in the world. Life is simple; you are lying out and enjoying the sunshine. The cheeseburger you ordered is brought to you, and your shoes are thrown aside and forgotten about. Staring up at the clouds slowly floating by, you realize that this is exactly what you need—time to relax and escape reality.

Springtime is blossoming out from under you, and you are completely missing out. Amid all of the studying, projects, papers and lesson plans that you have to do, you have forgotten about the raw enjoyment of relaxing with your friends at a cookout. It was a spontaneous event that you’ve forgotten about since freshman year. When you were a freshman, spontaneous events took place all the time, cookouts, tanning sessions, pickup games, snowball fights and snowman building at midnight. As you progress through your major and life becomes chaotic, the spontaneous events happen less and less often. When the sun is shining and the weather is nice, I look at all of the freshmen out in the quad, and I cannot help being saddened by how much free time I used to have. I wish that were still the case. Now, the only time that I can get out in the sun is when I bring my homework with me. I do not have the leisure to lie outside with a pleasure book or play a pickup game. Instead I’m trying to work diligently while reminiscing about our underclassman days.

As I’m munching on my cheeseburger, lying in the grass, chit-chatting with my friends, I realize that we all must be dragged outside for a springtime cookout. It is a much-needed break amidst all of the hustle and bustle. The springtime air, good friends, and the smell of grilled food dragged me outside.

These cookouts provide relaxation, good times and lasting memories. There are always stories about the springtime apartment cookouts. Who knows, maybe someone will bring out a TV again . . .

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount