I’ve been thinking a lot about my second semester of freshman year of college. I transferred to IUPUI (from ISU) that semester and lived in Ball Hall, which at the time was the only dorm at IUPUI.

The semester prior, I attended ISU, where I had a meal plan and ate too much food in the cafeteria every day. One time I had 7 bananas in one day just because I was clearly not as funny as I thought I was (thankfully now I’m as funny as I think I am). I had Captain Crunch for dinner a lot. My boyfriend at the time lived in Bloomington, I visited him every weekend and we ordered Avers Pizza at night and Jimmy Johns at 2pm when we woke up the next day. To say I gained the Freshman 15 would be an understatement.

But at at IUPUI, between the walking to campus and the eating maybe twice a day, that all came off. I shopped for food to keep in my dorm room because there was no meal plan, only options at the food court on campus (blocks away from the dorm, which I couldn’t afford). I also had very little culinary skills and an even smaller palette. So that semester I lived off bologna and mustard sandwiches and cans of Spaghetti-os that I warmed in the dorm microwave. Even if I had had better skills in the kitchen, I didn’t have the money to back it up. I had no job, no support and I was living off scholarship money.

I was so hungry. All. The. Time. Sometimes I would get back from class and jump in the shower and I would become light headed, to the point of almost passing out, from eating so little.

This is probably where I should stop and apologize to my roommate for never leaving the room except for class (I was never there on the weekends at least). I laid on the top bunk, studied and plowed through every season of Grey’s Anatomy (this was actually her fault, she introduced it to me) and man, once you started that show you couldn’t stop. I’m sure the aroma of Spaghetti-os and bologna wasn’t appetizing. I’m sorry Heather, I was just a hungry introvert with no friends (it was difficult to make friends a predominately commuter school, when you enter mid year).

Despite nearly starving, I look back at the semester warmly. At that time I was a Criminal Justice major (changed to English later) and thrived in those classes, the topics were fascinating to me. I loved the routine of going to class, studying, almost passing out in the shower and having free time to just do whatever (laying in my dorm room alone). I remember that…that inching away from who I had had to be in childhood and finding who I could be without that chaos around me.

Sometimes memory lane is a nice little road to travel. Although, I am thankful for a full belly and house full of fun (with no bologna ever again).