It started with a mug. Orange, red, and avocado green-it caught my eyes as they drifted across the thrift store shelves last fall. I instantly liked the playful design of vines and butterflies, and the $1.50 price tag sealed the deal. When I brought it home I decided to stow the find deep in my closet rather than add it to the collection of tea cups in the family cupboard. This one, I thought, I’ll keep for when I’m on my own. 

I had never had the slightest inclination to move before this year, but as the junior year unfolded I began to realize it was almost time. Then shortly before Christmas break I discovered a fellow student was looking for a roommate. The opportunity turned out to be better than I had ever hoped for, and worth rescheduling my tentatively planned move in the fall (When I chose to commute to a school in my hometown, I set a goal of making the jump to independence at the beginning of my senior year). Two months ago I signed my first lease, almost wondering if it was real. Today I find myself writing at the kitchen table-but as I gaze out the windows the view is entirely new.


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