Then and Now: A look back on “Fall Break”

October 2007 wasn’t that long ago. But, when I think about the freshman that I was compared to the Senior I am now, a lot has changed for me in terms of ‘fall break’ and Maple Leaf.

My senior year of High School, my two good friends Stephanie, Tessa and I planned on growing our hair out to then cut and donate to Locks of Love after our graduation. This was something that I had always wanted to do, but just never did. So, for 12 months we grew, graduation came, and though my hair was long enought to donate, the required 10 inches to take would have left me with a rather short hair-do. So, I decided to keep the length and keep growing it out for a few more months. My long hair was then something my new friends at Baker came to know me by.

Getting a tattoo was also something I had always thought about doing, but never had the guts to while living at home… So, freshman year when Fall break rolled around, my hair was finally long enough for me to be willing to cut so Wednesday afternoon, I went to Whitney’s Creative Hair Salon downtown and cut it all off,  put the final thing in my car and started on the long drive back to Greeley. I’m pretty sure my hair has never been that short since I was a toddler and it was first growing out. I kept thinking about what my parents would say, and what my friends both home and at Baker would think. I also thought about how I was going to get myself to and from the tattoo salon without my parents noticing.

My Freshman roommate Linda and I, just after fall break.

Thursday morning of my first fall break, I called up my friend Stephanie for a encouraging ‘tattoo buddy’. I left my house telling my Mom I was going out for lunch with Steph, and that I’d be back later that evening. I had no idea how long my tattoo would take after all. So Steph and I went to a salon in my hometown (That I had done tons of research on. Afterall, if I was going to ink myself, Iwas going to do it safely) and 30 minutes later we left with two new additions. (I got a small one on my right foot, Stephanie one on her left ankle.)

My parents loved my hair. I almost got away with getting the tattoo and going back to college, but my Mom noticed a tiny piece of gauze I hadn’t hidden under my sweats and the truth was out. Needless to say, they werent too thrilled about the tattoo. The funny thing was though, that it was more upsetting for my mom that I went away to college and came home to get a tattoo, than just getting out from somewhere in Lawrence or Kansas City. My dad was worried that it’d hinder me from obtaining a job in the future, because in theatre not every character you play wears shoes to cover it up.

I think about that weekend 4 years ago and compare it to what was just my last fall break and can’t help but laugh. My hair has grown back out, to an even longer length, my tattoo has faded to the point of needing some serious retouching, my parents forget sometimes I even have the tattoo because I’ve become so good at covering it up with makeup, and the one friend at Baker I was most nervous for their reaction to my hairdo, wound up dating the girl with the bob, fell in love with the girl whose hair was was at her shoulders, and asked a girl whose hair was much at the length it was when they first met to marry him.

I havent spent a fall break home since then because Maple Leaf has fallen at the same time, or my job kept me from getting away, and even though that weekend never really feels like a true break anyways, I can’t help but be thankful that it has allowed me to be more spontanious because the outcomes have been so great.

My friend Pip and I freshman year around September.

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