“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Friday, February 14, 2003, 3:30 p.m. – The weekend is finally here. After an unbelievably hard history test, I am finally free for a three day weekend. When I was younger, three day weekends meant endless activity and excitement.

This weekend, however, my first plan of action is to take a nap. After a week of work, all I want to do is catch up on sleep. So I head back to my room and relax until dinner – the most amazing broccoli and shrimp with penne at Acquista Trattoria on Union Turnpike. Afterwards, it’s back to my room to get ready for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, February 15, 1:30 a.m. – Out with the girls! The party is in full swing, and though there aren’t a lot of people here, its still fun. It’s amazing how even without a huge crowd, as long as you’re with your friends, it’s still fun. I’m the designated driver tonight, so sometimes it feels a little more like babysitting then partying, but when you bring along freshmen that always happens.

As I am standing there with my Sprite I realize that these are supposed to be the best times of our lives. High school was overrated, and this is our last chance before the real world hits to have completely irresponsible fun. But is this as good as it gets? Is drinking Sprite out of a plastic cup while people around you stumble over themselves and dance on tables really all that great?

Regardless of any doubts I had earlier in the night, we head home about 2:30 and grab some food on the way. Twenty-four hour White Castle never ceases to please.

Saturday, February 15, 11:00 a.m. – Up and about in my room getting ready for my grandparents 56th wedding anniversary. With my grandfather being so sick it’s a little bittersweet, but it’s great to see my family again.

Getting away from school brings everything into perspective for me. All the problems I have with school and work seem petty when I’m not there. Who cares if I don’t get an ‘A’ on my test? So what if I miss one class? Maybe college is not the last chance to have a great time. I often have more fun with my family then I do at school. I love my friends though. In the large scheme of life, only family, friends and love really matter.

My mom tells me that one of the happiest times in her life was her college years, but when I see her surrounded by her family, she just seems at peace with the world. Seeing my grandparents still in love after all this time makes it almost painfully obvious that there are more important things in life than college – or maybe that college is just the beginning of the important things in life.

Saturday, February 15, 10:00 p.m. – After a day with my family, I head over to my friend Brett’s house to spend time with his family. It’s so nice to be in a house again where it’s quiet at night and everything is clean, unlike my dorm room. The furniture is comfortable, there’s plenty of food, and I don’t have to wear sandals in the shower. Simple comforts in life make me happy.

Sunday, February 16, 7:00 p.m. – We arrive back at school with only ten minutes or so to spare before the snow arrives. The snow starts coming down in waves, sometimes fast and furious, sometimes calm and peaceful. That’s how I feel when I’m at school.

At times it is a whirlwind of activity that seems to never cease, and other times it is perfect and serene. It feels good to be back after going home for a day – everything here just suits me and the trip home reminded me of that. I get to be independent and free, surrounded by friends and responsibility. Going home makes being here even better when I get back.

Monday, February 17, 6:00 p.m. – The snow is up to my knees and we just got word that there is no school on Tuesday. My friends and I head outside for an intense game of snow volleyball, with a little bit of football mixed in. It’s cold and windy and wet and I couldn’t be happier. It was one of those moments you wish could last forever – those carefree times in your life where nothing matters and you just let loose.

We played in the snow for at least an hour and came back completely soaked and sore, but it was perfect.

Tuesday, February 18, 1:30 a.m. – My friends and I are all still awake and hanging out, enjoying the fact that we have no school the next morning. As we are sitting around our kitchen table I look around and realize that it doesn’t get much better. Although we aren’t doing anything special, it still just feels right.

Maybe when my mom said college was the best time of her life she looks back and remembers the simple moments she shared with her friends. That’s what I’m always going to remember – not the plastic cups of Sprite or the loud drunken crowd. The friends and the family and the growing up. The weekends where everything and nothing happens all at once.