When I started grad school, some other new grad students and I walked through campus one night before the undergraduates arrived. The dorms were empty, but clearly being prepped for students to arrive. Some windows were lit. Bunk beds and empty desks peeked out over the sills.
Every year, I see the students getting ready to move in, and dorms, apartments, and rental houses getting ready to receive them. Living in academia does have a strange cyclical feeling to it. Falls feel like new beginnings, and springs feel like an ending. The end of December is a Pause.
I see students and families scurrying around near the start of the year, buying pens and sheets, paper and wastebaskets, calculators and cans to stock a new apartment with. I see students moving into dorms every fall, and I'll see them move out in the spring. I'll soon see those lighted windows filled with activity, and I wonder what the stories are inside them when I pass by. I wonder too, who was walking past my lighted windows when I was in school, thinking about my stories?
At a new beginning like now, it feels like a good life for all involved.