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all the small things

The thing about being in lockdown is that we have an incredible amount of time to think. For me personally, I find this really difficult because it makes me nostalgic for times that I didn’t really appreciate in the moment. Like graduation goggles or something.

And it's no secret that as university students (and especially at Western), we all miss going out to bars and partying with our closest friends. But what surprises me is that looking back, the things I miss the most about my pre-pandemic life aren’t the things that I thought I would miss.

The other day I decided to go on a drive in an attempt to get out of my house for the first time in a while. I went to play music and accidentally broke my aux cord. A nightmare! So as I sat there trying to find a good radio station, already in a bad mood because of my aux crisis, I landed on a station that was playing a song that I hadn’t heard for a year, and a song that I had definitely never heard on the radio before. It reminded me of a moment during my first year at Western, hanging out with a group of people on my floor that I had just met during o-week. I remember being nervous because I was away from home and hanging out with a group of almost-strangers that I barely knew anything about. We were all sitting on the floor of one of the residence rooms, squeezed in next to each other on the ugliest blue carpet I had ever seen. In an effort to break the ice, one of my floor-mates started playing music that reminded them of their town back home. Slowly we all joined in, playing old songs that reminded us of our high school dances or last day of high school or after-prom party or summer car rides and all at once we didn’t feel homesick anymore. I was ready for the next chapter of my life with all of these new people.

I had forgotten all about this day until I was driving along these familiar roads in my hometown, bored out of my mind and disproportionately annoyed that my aux cord didn’t work, when that song started to play on the radio. In the freezing cold, I rolled the windows down and smiled, feeling ridiculously nostalgic about a memory I didn’t even know I had.

I guess the point of that story is just that you never know how good you have it. Never. And maybe at the end of the day the most important moments aren't those times that you plan out and get ready for a week in advance. Maybe they're not the bar nights, or house parties, or homecoming. Maybe the most important moments are the random, messy and totally unplanned ones. The moments in your cramped rez room with your newest friends. The small things that happen and you forget about, until that one day when you hear a song on the radio, and you remember them all over again.

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