“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…’”
– C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
It was a dream realized. I’d been thinking about this moment for three years, ever since I was a freshman sitting on a ballroom floor listening to the senior leaders tell their stories. I knew back then that this was something I wanted to do—no, I needed to do. And then, last weekend, it happened: I was the one telling the story, the eyes of 120 freshmen locked on me. I was scared. Then it happened. And it was just like I’d always dreamed.
My own 48HOURS experience is somewhat vague in my memory. I remember my own leader, but I don’t remember much about the others; I can only recall small snippets of the stories they told. I remember thinking my roommate was far too cool to ever be my friend, and jumping headlong into the frigid waters of Falmouth in October, and making an idiot of myself in front of everyone during the skits and the fishbowl. But I remember most of all getting on the bus home resolved to come back one day as a leader.
So when the application for team leaders opened up this summer, I jumped. I filled it out as fast as I could, then signed up for an interview before the school year started. Six weeks later, I accepted a spot on the November trip to Mystic. Now, after a month of training and meetings and preparation, it’s over. The dream came true.
I got a lot out of 48HOURS as a freshman, but even though I always wanted the gig, I don’t think I ever expected to get as much out of it as a team leader. But the truth is I think I got more out of it. What they don’t tell you is how much it hurts in the best possible way to pour your heart and soul into something like this. How much effort it takes to sound effortless sitting up there—staying up all night practicing and memorizing, after weeks of writing and perfecting, and after three years of living the whole story. They don’t tell you that you’ll be afraid that the freshmen won’t like you, and that it comes as the best possible surprise when they do. That even the big kids cry over their journals too.
As of today, there’s exactly six months left until Commencement. Half a year is a long time in “college time”, granted, but it’s still not much. In my Covenant with Self—because yes, even we old people have room for improvement—I pledged to make that time count. To knock out my academics and get ready to pass on the torch in my co-curriculars (even this here Rock). To not bend to pressure, to embrace the responsibilities, to celebrate freedom. And to dedicate myself to the friends, old and new, who have made my time at BC what it is. I’m not going to get to do it all over. But my goal is, by the end of it, to not have to wish for that. To have no regrets, nothing that I’d change.
I often say that I owe everything I have at BC to the mentors who have helped me along the way. I can tell them how much their guidance meant to me, but I can never really repay them—and chances are they don’t want it, now that they’re finishing law school and starting high-profile careers and getting married. Instead, I have to pay it forward. If I can be that person for even one kid who needs a hand, I’ll have done right by those who came before me.
I still have my 48HOURS journal from 2011, and in the past month, I’ve spent a lot of time with it, remembering the person I was when I first took a pen to those pages. Sometimes I think about what I wanted back then—what my dreams were. Truth is that if all of those dreams had come true, I’d be a really different person, and I like where I’m at right now. So I guess if I got to have one dream come true, taking another 48 hours off is a pretty great one.