I’ve sat down to write this letter about five times now. I guess I’ll start at the beginning.
My Mom had major jaw surgery in the fall of 2018. As a result, she spent a lot of her time listening to podcasts, which is where she heard about King’s for the first time. When Mom told me I should apply to King’s, I laughed and said, “Are you kidding? NYC is my worst nightmare. It’s too much for an introvert-ish person like me.” Luckily, she continued to encourage me to do it, and so I did.
When I got news of my acceptance and visited the campus, King’s went from the bottom of my college choices to the top. I remember walking through those revolving doors for the first time and feeling a sense of peace. I attended Dr. Brand’s Western Civ class that morning at 10:30. It just so happened he was doing his Alfred the Great lecture, and I was entranced by the story and legacy of Alfred. I’ve always loved history, and after listening to Dr. Brand bring Alfred the Great back to life, I was fully sold.
When I talked to my Dad around a month later after I decided to attend King’s, he told me he had the same reaction when we walked into the school. It’s rare that Dad and I agree, so I took our matching impressions seriously.
Though a small series of adverse events occurred that summer, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to go, things somehow pieced themselves back together. Before I knew it, I found myself in a Delta airbus on my way to LaGuardia airport with my entire family in tow.
I didn’t understand all of the gifts the next three and a half years of my life would bring me.
After I arrived in New York, I went to my future apartment in DeVos Hall, where I met my roommate in person for the first time since the spring. When I met her at Inviso, we connected over the fact that we both like books. I also remember that we were both a bit on the shy side. But little did I know that she would become one of my best friends and that I would have the privilege of being the maid of honor in her wedding almost three years later.
My second semester of college began normally in January 2020. Covid was merely a whisper at that point, and I felt like I had seen similar media scares about the bird flu before that led to nothing. But it all started to shatter apart on February 28th.
I got called into an administrator’s office around 10:30 that morning, where I was informed that my sister had been in a serious car accident, and they didn’t know if she would live. I didn’t know how to respond, so I just started bawling in the middle of a complete stranger’s office. It felt like a solid punch to the gut.
I left the office that morning feeling hollow, angry at God, and scared. One day didn’t change my feelings or the circumstances, but I was amazed at the people who surfaced during that time.
These were people I had known for barely three months. Yet these individuals surrounded my family and me with prayer, offered hugs and shoulders to cry on, ears to listen, and notes that I still have. Everyone was an unexpected blessing in the midst of tragedy.
Five days after the accident, we all got the news that the school was shutting down, which offered a new challenge as to how to stay connected. These relationships that I had formed were so fresh I was scared I would lose them.
Somehow we all managed to stay connected. It was hard since we didn’t share the same space anymore, but we found ways to make this whole situation bearable and got creative. Quarantine was made better by the FaceTime calls, the Zoom meetings to study for Hebrew Literature exams, and virtual House events.
By some miracle, we were back on campus by August 2020. Life proceeded quite normally even with masks. It felt good to have the odd, Kingsian conversations such as whether or not Machiavelli was satire, visiting the 7/11 on Greenwich St at midnight, and curating an energy drink addiction (thanks, Celsius).
I could go on for pages about the little anecdotes I’ve collected over the years: the time we went to a bar and wrote philosophy papers (and managed to get a free glass of pinot noir), all of us braving the crowds every Christmas just to catch a glimpse of the Rockefeller tree, the tattoo I got on Valentine’s Day that was inspired by two of my classes, Medieval Philosophy and Fall of the Devil, or my little and I getting spontaneous piercings in Soho.
All of these little memories weave together an uneven, unmatching, yet beautiful tapestry I look back on as a fresh grad with increasing nostalgia. And they are all a result of the community that can only be built at King’s. So thank you, King’s, for being a formative and necessary part of my life.
Abbey, Class of ‘22
English Major, Former Chamberlain of the House of Clara Barton
Former Chamberlain | House of Clara Barton | Class of '22
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