On the August 16, Mom, Ali, and I woke up early and began the six hour drive to take Ali to college. It was very bittersweet since we all knew that we'd have to say goodbye in only a few days. Ali's car was packed. Her belongings were piled up to the ceiling. In fact, we had to move some of her things into my car so I'd have enough room to fit into her passenger seat. I wish I would have taken a picture of Ali's.
It's a strange feeling to see all of your belongings--the material expression of "you"--fit into the back of a small car.
Ali and I sang and made up dances to fun songs almost the entire way to her new city, even during rush hour traffic... which wasn't as crazy as we had heard it would be. At times, it was hard to keep from being emotional. This was it. After being inseparable, seeing each other every single day (often for most of every day) for over a year, we were about to be separated until possibly Thanksgiving.
Needless to say, a few tears were shed.
Now don't worry. Ali and I will definitely still keep in touch. We already text/Skype/Facebook/write letters/or talk on the phone to each other every single day. And since we're sisters, we'll get to spend every holiday together.
It's just for now, without each other, life is going to be very, very different. I know that can be a good thing... but... it's also a sad and scary thing.
We had one evening together before we had to move Ali in and leave her to her orientation at her school. We went to Texas Roadhouse and had a yummy meal. We bought snacks (almonds and raisins, Ali's favorites) from Wal-Mart, and then we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick out pillows.
Ali tends to be a little... forgetful, so she ended up forgetting BOTH of her pillows, her straightener, and most of her shampoos and such back at home. The most immediate problem was a pillow, since she didn't have one. I had brought one pillow to school, but I needed another (I love pillows), so we decided to begin our search together.
We're both very picky when it comes to pillows.
Cotton pillows don't do. They're too plain. Most feather pillows either flatten too easily or make us sneeze. We don't like memory foam (it's too hard). We like soft, squishy pillows. Some down pillows work. Some don't.
After quite a while of searching, wandering away from each other at times to try out certain pillows, we met up together... with the same pillow! So now at night whenever we're feeling lonely and sad, we can hug our pillows and think of each other. (Am I feeling sentimental or what?)
When it came time to leave to take Ali to school the next morning, dread seemed to hang in the air.
The "Big Goodbye" was about to happen. We were about to be separated for two months. We listened to "I Miss You" by Shane & Shane in the car together, over and over again.
Ali was a little... upset that the moment had finally come. She hugged her new pillow the whole way.
The next morning, we had to move Ali into her dorm room at school. She's actually sharing a room with two other girls, which I find crazy! Ali has to sleep on a top bunk that is so close to the ceiling, I in all of my shortness can't even sit up straight. However, the room is very cute and cozy and all three girls chose black and white patterns for their beds.
I'll now share some much-requested photographs of Ali's dorm room. I didn't take pictures of the ENTIRE thing because I wasn't sure if her roommates would appreciate pictures of their living quarters posted all over the internet.
Funny story... Ali called me a week or two ago saying that there was nobody at her new school to blog about her. I replied, "Oh, Ali, I'll ALWAYS blog about you!" My mom just sat on her bed in the hotel room, shaking her head and laughing silently.
First of all is Ali's bed. It may be high-up, but it's super cute. Ali was given the bedspread, which I actually LOVE, possibly even more than my (and it's perfect for her!). Black, white, and yellow were her colors. The fuzzy throw is way soft. You can get the same one from Target. I got a teal-colored throw for my own dorm room. You can also see Ali's new pillow in a yellow pillowcase, a small decorative pillow (she realllly likes yellow), and a zebra-print decorative arm pillow. Way cozy!
Ali got her own desk, which is great. She decorated a bulletin board with ribbon, fabric, and a flower or two. It's way cute, right? Ali actually brought THREE teddy bears, which I couldn't stop teasing her about. She also was sure to cover her desk with pictures of her families. :)
The calendar you see on the top shelf is something I made at www.shutterfly.com. I have one as well.
(The girl on the bottom bunk actually has the same comforter as I do!)
It was very difficult to say goodbye to Ali. We were hoping to be able to go out to dinner one more time and talk and laugh... or even have a thirty or forty minute goodbye period, but we didn't. When Ali went to the front desk to check into her dorm, she asked what time we were supposed to say goodbye and they said, "Uh, right now."
Mom, Ali, and I went to the bathroom for a few minutes. We all cried and embraced and clung to each other. Then we walked Ali to the auditorium and waved goodbye.
It's been a couple of weeks now and I miss Ali like CRAZY. I wish I could see my sissy every day again.
A few more weeks, Emily. Just a few more weeks.
Well, do you like what you saw of Ali's dorm room? Do you have any space-saving tips?
By the way, for those of you who have been asking what college is like, I'm having a special college Q&A day on September 10. Leave your questions in the comments or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 9. And if you have a specific question for Ali, say so and I'm sure she'd be willing to give an answer as well. ;)