I made a midnight burger run the other night. I hadn’t stopped working and studying since 9 a.m. and I figured I earned a delicious and cheesy burger with a nice side of French fries. As I was driving back, I realized something kind of sobering: I was driving alone.
I thought all the way back to freshman year when I lived in suite 18 in J. Alvin. I didn’t know any of the guys at the beginning of the year, heck I hadn’t been in the States since I was 13! But some of these guys became some of my greatest companions. No doubt, those were some of the greatest burger, taco and pizza runs ever. Sometimes, seven guys would cram into my three-person car and we’d make a trip to McDonalds, and I would sincerely hope that someone was going to pay for me since I drove, drive back to the suite and play videogames for hours.
I’d wake up for my 8 a.m. Western Civilization course, only about two hours of sleep under my belt, excited for the next burger run. And we had lots. After food, we’d talk about life, movies, theology, the whole gamut while we watched someone play Minecraft. No doubt, those are some of my favorite memories.
I got to live my next year in a townhouse, lucky sophomore with lots of senior friends. And although we had lots of bro time making midnight food runs there were a few things that changed. Girlfriends. This one included. Midnight food runs became date nights.
I remember taking my girlfriend, still dating me for only God knows why, to get burgers around 11:00 p.m. and hope they’d get our food in time for us to make it back to the townhouse and eat together. If not, we just ate in the car. Videogames weren’t included in the conversation, she’s not a gamer by any means, but everything else was on the table. Our love formed eating French fries, learning what Frosty’s were and talking about everything. I wouldn’t trade those nights for anything.
My other brothers got girlfriends too. I saw my closest buddy, Jason, meet the girl of his dreams and get married. I saw Noah fall deeply in love with a girl he met in a Bible class. My roommate Ben and I would have unspoken wars to see who got the room when our girlfriends were over. Midnight food runs with the boys got more and more rare as our girls became more and more important.
The year after was crazy. Break ups, scandals, punching holes through walls and new housemates made for one of the most dramatic college years of my life. But one thing stayed the same. Fast food. Late nights. Amazing conversations. Falling even deeper in love.
Now it’s my senior year. All my brothers from suite 18 graduated, got married or are living elsewhere. My girlfriend is off doing graduate work two states away. It’s weird to be making these fast food runs alone. But as I look back, I can’t help but think, “These have been the greatest four years of my life.”
Bowen is a senior majoring in Biblical and theological studies. He can be reached at BowenMJ@jbu.edu.