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Alumni Reflections Halle Gustafson '12

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Halle Gustafson '12 | Middlebury College

Sitting around the lunch table, we ate turkey sandwiches and talked about the hockey game we had all attended the night before. As we cleared our plates and took our apples to go, we worried aloud about the exams we would be taking the following week. Having known each other since first grade, and some of us even earlier, all pretenses were gone from the conversation. We sat on the bench in the spring sunshine and listened as each of us shared stories from that weekend and the swim meet or soccer game from the night before.

Had you described this scene to me the spring of my senior year at Breck, I would have told you this was a typical day in the spring semester. I would have told you I was grateful for everything I had learned at Breck but was excited to move onto the next chapter and start college in the fall — a new environment in which I would make “friends for a lifetime,” as everyone kept telling me.

What I could not have told you is that one year later this same scene would be taking place in a different dining hall 1,300 miles across the country. No, my friends from Breck did not all attend the same college as me, but they did take a weekend and hours of travel to visit me on my campus last spring. Even in the midst of the new life I had created for myself at college, our conversation and laughter was as genuine and refreshing as it had been at Breck, when we saw each other every day. It was in this moment that I realized Breck had prepared me for many aspects of the next chapter of my life, but the most important thing it gave me was friendships that have truly proven to last a lifetime.

Halle Gustafson ‘12