Allow me to explain.
I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and spent the first six months of my life living in a Guilford Residence Hall apartment on UNC-Greensboro's campus where my dad was Dorm Director. I had a sweet little nursery that my mom created (as in, she made pretty much everything in it from scratch), and she says that I was doted on by all the college students who lived in Guilford.
(I can't begin to tell you how much I would love to have the vintage fabric in those curtains now.)
Just before I turned a year old, we moved to Blacksburg, Virginia where my dad would work in Student Affairs at Virginia Tech. While we were there, my favorite spots were the duck pond and a local sheep farm. Mom and Dad also drove a pretty sweet VW van. I would go on to wreck that van when I was three and a half. True story.
(Killer sunglasses, Mom. And yes, that's a bonnet. If I have a daughter, she'll wear one too.)
(Yup, that's me rockin' the belly shirt.)
When I was three and a half, and just before my sister was born, we moved to La Plume, Pennsylvania where my dad would be Director of Residence Life at Keystone Jr. College. We lived in a large apartment in Sickler Hall, a gorgeous Victorian building. It now houses several administrative offices for the college.
(This is the home where I would become a big sister and wreck the VW van. It was a big year for me.)
(Aunt Joann and cousin Caroline come to visit! My mom smocked that dress for me and I want to squeeze my three year old self, I'm just so dang cute.)
When Allie was about a year old, we moved back down to North Carolina, to my mom's hometown of Durham. Durham is home to The College That Shall Not Be Named (ahem), where we spent every major holiday at Grandmother and Grandaddy's house with mom's sisters and their families, and where I would end up living and teaching after college.
About a year or so after we moved to Durham, we moved to Winston-Salem. Wake Forest University gave me an incredible library for high school research papers, amazing college students who volunteered as my (oh so patient) youth group leaders and Young Life leaders.
As you may have heard, I chose the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my college years. I was a Resident Assistant for my last two years there and that is still one of the best jobs I have ever had. Chapel Hill is one of the top college towns in the nation and one of my most favorite places in the whole wide world. I love that we got married in Chapel Hill and spent our wedding night at The Carolina Inn. Hark the sound of Tarheel voices....
(My very first day at UNC, setting up my freshman dorm room in Hinton James.)
Even when I got married and moved off to Texas, I ended up in a college town. In Ailene there are three universities- Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University (my best friend Abby works there) and McMurry University (my mother-in-law is their head volleyball coach and my sister-in-law is the coolest sophomore on campus).
So it seems only fitting in a kind of full circle way that I am now working at a college. New students moved into the dorms at Covenant on Friday and started their orientation which will go through Wednesday. I got to work beside an amazing group of returning students (who serve on the Orientation Team) as they helped unload cars and moved the new students' belongings into their dorm rooms. They were loud and joyous and oh so welcoming to these hesitant hopeful freshmen. I had the best time hanging out with them and I even learned how to do the Dougie. Bonus.
(Keeping a close eye out for new students)
The buildings and grounds aren't just brick and grass after yesterday. It feels like a college now that the students are finally here. And I know that sounds obvious, but when you've worked in quiet buildings for over a month, to see them loud and bustling is an incredible thing.
Here's the thing, I've loved all the college towns I've lived in and I absolutely adored my own college years. But being on this side of a college is something I didn't even know to want. I am ridiculously grateful that I'm getting to experience it this way and at this point in my life.
And it's kind of nice that Covenant's signature blue is much closer to my beloved Carolina blue than that other kind of blue.
Let the 2011-2012 school year begin!