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Four Years at the Mount

Sophomore Year

Looking Back on the Memories

Samantha Strub

(Jan, 2011) The end of the year, a time to look back. People remember the past year based on the times that left the biggest mark; usually these are the important good and bad moments, but we also remember the simple pleasures of life. The good memories are the ones that you will remember with joy for years and years to come, knowing that these moments happened and that they changed your life forever. Then there are the bad memories that you can never seem to get rid of, but you have to come to terms with them, knowing that everything happens for a reason. Then there are the simple pleasures that make life beautiful--the funny, silly moments that take you back to times when you really felt alive.

A lot of simple moments kept me going the past year. If I didnít have these happy times I think I would have gone insane because my life this past year has been one heck of a ride. The things I valued last year are now either gone or changed forever. That is why I have held onto the simple pleasures.

Some of these simple moments have been times with my family while we were still all together before my dad was deployed an ocean away to Iraq. His absence hit Mom and my two youngest siblings the hardest because they are used to seeing him every day after work, unlike my other brother and I, who are both away at college. It has been a struggle for Mom to be single parenting for six months at a time knowing that her husband is fighting important battles overseas, but we handle his deployment one day at a time. A great blessing has been knowing that he has a two-week leave which surprisingly got to be over Christmas! Amidst the struggles of having a loved one overseas, itís wonderful knowing we will celebrate Christmas as a family! In order to handle Dadís time away, it is important to remember that his deployment isnít going to last forever: weíll have Christmas together and then he will be home for good in a year. You have to constantly remind yourself that, though bad things happen in life, these times will come to an end.

We also treasure those simple yet important memories of time spent together as a family. Some of my favorites are ski trips when all of us are racing down the slopes, those lovely car trips when we pretty much all want to kill each other by the end of the trip, times spent at our cabin up north, and the summer vacation we took in Texas right before Dad was deployed. This vacation was a nice time away from the hectic life that we live in. Dad got some time to spend time with his family before leaving for six months. It was lovely just laying on the beach relaxing before our lives changed dramatically.

It is important to remember, "Itís not about the number of breaths we take; itís about the moments that take your breath away!" This is how I have decided to remember my year because it was the story of my life. About five months ago I had to sell my horse and best friend. I didnít want to sell Sona, but I had to because she had severe arthritis. Selling her this summer brought my whole year downhill it seemed. It was like my whole world fell apart. I was a mess for months, and I still have days when I feel like I all I need to do is go wrap my arms around my Sona girl and everything will be okay. Sadly, I cannot do this anymore and have to satisfy myself with the glorious memories from the years that I owned her, knowing that she will always be in my heart because she changed my life in so many ways.

Itís sad that I had to go through this hard time. However, I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. I still canít figure out why I had to sell the most important thing in the world to me. I would love to figure that out, but Iím not sure when that will happen. I do know though that the struggles make you stronger, the changes make you wise, and happiness has its way of taking its sweet time. I may not understand the reasons behind why things happen, but I do know that in time I will understand. I just have to try to have the patience until then.

"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall into place." This is one of the hardest things for me to accept because I want to fix everything and not just leave it to fate. When friendships change, like how my relationship was changing with one of my closest friends, I try to make everything okay again, and sometimes you just have to let things fall into place. This statement proved true because, as I was losing a friendship that took years to build, I grew closer with my college friends and some of my other friends back home. They were there for me, helping and supporting me during this difficult time in my life. We have become fast friends, and I thank God every day for blessing me with them. We have so many crazy memories that will last for years, from studying at Starbucks, having insane dinner conversations, sleeping over at friendsí houses, decorating and singing in our room, and making extraverted plans.

These are the moments in college, or life, that you will always remember. You remember the good and bad things that affect your life in numerous ways, but the things that make you turn around are the simple moments that take your breath away. These are the important things that you will remember more than grades or struggles that you went through during that year. You will look back on these goofy memories in years to come and realize that they are really the things that matter most in lifeófamily, friends, and good times. Letís make this next year just as memorable!

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