On a crisp, fall morning, there is nothing I enjoy more than walking through campus. Now, I love walking on campus anytime, but when the leaves are changing and the newness of the academic year is fresh upon the breeze, that is when I feel most connected.
This morning, the air felt clean as I walked in the morning shadows of the buildings, a few golden leaves smattering the sidewalk. It was early, with students just beginning to arrive, so the campus was relatively quiet, the slightest sound echoing between the geology building and Ahlberg Hall. I walked carefully, the sun reflecting off the new WSU logo and tall glass windows of the Rhatigan Student Center. I breathed deep, purposefully, the fresh-cut grass, decaying flowers, and the smell of coffee escaping through open doors.
Walking on campus is sentimental in its memories of being a student and wistful in its dreams of being a professor. While my career path is different from what I’d planned, I am still a part of the university I love and whose future I want to share until I can no longer take these walks unassisted. Until then, I will make my way along these sidewalks, always aware of how fortunate I am to be a tiny piece of the history of this campus that still sits proudly on the hill.