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April 18, 2011

The Finish Line

I havenít touched pavement with my running shoes all year, but I feel like I have been running both semesters here at Iowa State simply because it has all happened so fast. The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months before I could even catch my breath. Now I am entering the final 200 yards, but just minutes ago the shotgun went off. Just minutes ago I was eating lunch on central campus with my Destination Iowa State group. Just minutes ago I was feeling the happiness and nervousness in my heart right after my parents left me in my new room strewn with boxes. Just minutes ago I was meeting the unknown but now familiar faces of friends and classmates. And it seems just a few strides ago I was sitting in my very first class here. Sitting in 207 Marston, waiting for my Statics lecture to begin, I remember wondering if I would find my home here in the race at Iowa State.

I am happy to say I have found it here, and I cannot even begin to express how much I am in love with it. My college home here has been above my expectations and the lofty dream I thought college could never be. My college home here is better than the movies and better than any description I could give.

I owe much of this to Starbuck. Starbuck is my house, the floor in Martin that I have called home for eight months now. Starbuck is an honors floor, with the highest GPA on campus and plenty of very smart students. It may seem boring to an outsider, but this is a floor that knows how to make the most out of college. And although I am excited to be living in Freddy Courts next year with my four new roommates, I will be leaving Starbuck with a tear in my eye.

The people on Starbuck are the greatest friends I could hope to find in college; those team mates that cheer through the very end. They are always there to hang out, to talk, and of course, to study with. And next year, when we are spread out across Freddy Courts and Martin, the times on Starbuck will be missed.

I will miss the baking nights. I will miss borrowing the cooking supplies from Jaclyn and Christine and getting together with a bunch of Starbuckians and baking cookies, muffins, or spaghetti. I will miss watching Whose Line is It Anyways with Hana and the movie nights that last until early morning. I will miss the pranking, from the tee-peed beds to the post it notes to the balloons. I will miss dancing like thereís no tomorrow with Diane and Hana, competing in the butt chair races, and having noodle fights. I will miss talking to Jared and Matt and their visits to our room and seeing Austin Cís or Beccaís faces every time they walk in and see Hana, Diane, and I doing something crazy. I will miss having chats with Kelly, Diane, and Hana, and having our girl times together. I will even miss washing dishes with Hana and Diane, because we three know how to make dish washing a blast.

Most of all, I will miss my roommate, Hana. A lifelong friend, Hana has been that sister I always wanted. Although we have known each other for many years, being in the same place finally gave us that time to connect through more than e-mails and letters. Living with her this year felt so natural and it seems strange that we wonít be in the same room next year. This year Hana has been my partner in crime and my crying shoulder. We have stayed up late talking about the complications of the future, hugged each other while we cried, and helped each other through more than one rough week. We have pranked Diane (sometimes to the point where we find ourselves running down the hallway as fast as we can to escape) and watched movies, biked, and sang together.

But as I have learned many times before, life continues. The race doesnít stop because you love the scenery in the moment. You have to keep running, and the race keeps going, faster and faster. The race forces you to change and move on because new races must be run. So as I sprint to the finish line, I must let my feet carry me away from Starbuck. But I will never forget it. A part of my heart will always be at this race, my first at Iowa State. And I will always remember the feeling I had here, the feeling of belonging in this new home, the adrenaline and happiness, and the feeling of my feet finally hitting the ground running.