Dodging and weaving around students, I navigated the crowd milling through Reed Arena’s concourse. Breakaway Ministries’ weekly sermon had just ended, and the walls reverberated with the murmur of a hundred conversations. I craned my neck, trying to maintain sight of my roommate Austin’s tall figure and my roommate Rebekah’s black braids as I followed my friends to the door.
A chill greeted us as we emerged, a reminder that the holidays were fast approaching. “Hey y’all, we’ve got free hot chocolate!” a Breakaway volunteer called from a table on the sidewalk. I gladly accepted a cup and cradled it as I climbed into the backseat of Austin’s truck. We headed home, chatting about the Breakaway message and hot chocolate, which soon became a debate when Austin insisted that Rebekah was mispronouncing the drink’s name.
“It’s ‘hot chocolate.’” Austin teased.
“That’s how I’m saying it!” Rebekah protested in mock indignation.
“No, you said it like ‘hotchocolate.’”
I smiled and shrugged. “Sounds like y’all said it the same to me.”
As I enjoyed the cooling chocolatey drink and laughed at their continued, sibling-esque banter, a sudden wave of gratitude washed over me. Though it was only my first semester at Texas A&M University, I had already made so many memories with my roommates: movie nights, fast food runs, and post-Breakaway kitchen conversations about everything and nothing. During the difficult transition of leaving home for the first time, these moments seemed like bright gems to treasure.
I realized that my college years would one day end, and I didn’t want to let these times slip through my fingers. Rather than focusing too much on the past or becoming too busy with future goals, I wanted to appreciate the experiences that would become individual bricks in my memory lane leading back to Aggieland. The early mornings and the late nights. The cozy quiet of Evans Library and the cheerful bustle of the Memorial Student Center. Sitting in class and standing with the 12th Man. The blissfully chilly fall walks around campus and the exhilarating walk across the graduation stage. Strangers who would become friends and friends who would become family.
I didn’t know then, heading back to my apartment that night, that the result would be more beautiful than I could have imagined, but I did know one thing: I would cherish every moment.
About the Author
A native of Brenham, Texas, Lydia Hill ’21 received a bachelor’s in English with a minor in journalism from Texas A&M. She now works as a marketing specialist and writer for the Texas A&M Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies or plays, reading mystery or fantasy novels, and making new memories with friends.