One evening, my resident adviser Bahar asked if anyone wanted her friend’s tickets to an Aziz Ansari show. I had nothing to do, so I claimed them and invited a new friend of mine, Nate, to come along. A few hours later, Nate and I set out on our long Uber ride to Lakewood Amphitheatre. I was quiet, but luckily Nate was far from shy. He grew up on a farm in Arizona, and he told me all about the business, his family and how life at Emory compared to life back home. I told him about my childhood in Western Massachusetts. By the time we arrived at the theater, we had developed an easy rapport. The show started off well, but suddenly the sky opened up and a cold rain started to fall. It was 40 degrees out, but despite the miserable conditions, neither of us gave up on the show. As the rain picked up, we laughed at our situation and enjoyed the show even more. When we made it back to Turman Hall, we made plans to grab breakfast at the DUC the next morning and parted ways.
After changing into dry clothes, I went across the hall to my neighbor Huri’s room and walked in without knocking. Huri looked up from his book and told me I could stay if I didn’t interrupt him. My room was directly across the hall, but it was a mess. There were clothes all over the floor and no room on my desk. In contrast, Huri lived in an impeccably clean single. I opened my book and, instead of reading, asked Huri what he had been up to that day. He put down his book, and that became the first of many nights we spent together telling stories, talking about school and joking at each other’s expense.
In a few weeks, I’ll be moving out of the apartment I share with Nate. Since that comedy show over three years ago, we’ve lived together for two years, travelled to Savannah, Ga., and Miami, and met up for drinks in New York. Huri has been home in Los Angeles for the past semester, but he’ll be coming back for graduation and joining my family for dinner. I’ll walk across the stage with Casey, who was my next-door neighbor freshman year, my roommate for two years, and my partner in countless school and extracurricular projects. We will be joined by Zack, another roommate of two years, whom I met as a freshman while playing basketball with Nate, and who accompanied me on a trip to Israel. Luke, Nate’s roommate freshman year and mine junior year, who was the first person I went out with at Emory and who still keeps me up late at night, will also walk across that stage with us.
Some of these friends will be joining me in New York after graduation, but I’ll have to say goodbye to the ones who are not. I won’t be able to walk across the hall to see them anymore, and it may be awhile before we’re all together again. Still, we will always share the memories of the past four years. Starting on the fourth floor of Turman Hall, and ending as we walk across the stage at graduation, our time at Emory will always have a special place in my heart, and I will always be deeply grateful for all the memories we have shared.
Sam Jones is from Great Barrington, Mass., and served as Goizueta Finance Group Chairman.