I want to wake up in Mountaineer Hall on a fall production day, spend the whole day talking about nothing with my ed board, wrap things up two minutes before deadline and stay up too late talking some more.

I want to spend a junior-year morning at High Country Press picking through emails and press releases, walk down the hill to my evening class (back when going to class was a thing that made sense), put the finishing touches on a story for The Appalachian and fall asleep talking to my best friend.

I want to be at my post-sophomore-year summer job — the one made me wake up in the morning excited to go to work. I want to chaperone a morning field trip to the zoo, take the kids outside to the garden, play Hangman while we wait for parents to show up, then go out to eat with my high school friends.

I want to be a freshman again, when everything was new, when I was scared, when an average day felt like exploring.

See, when I was 18, Boone saved me. Because it was new. Because it was different. Because it made me rely on myself instead of other people. Because when I fell in love with this little place, I’d accomplished something.

Now it’s old. I’ve been here for five years. I’m 22 years old and it’s time to stop living in a college town. I need a job that tests me and a city that scares me. I need the struggle of finding new friends and an apartment by myself and a city block to memorize.

It’s time to figure out who I’ll be next.

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