As my journey at Binghamton University comes to an end in a matter of weeks, it’s inevitable that I reminisce about the time I spent here. Coming to BU as a transfer student from SUNY New Paltz, I was unsure of how well I’d adapt to the larger student population. For housing on campus, I decided to live in a suite instead of corridor-style, thinking this would be a better way to meet people right off the bat. At least with a suite, if I didn’t like my roommate, there were four other people I could potentially be friends with. This ended up being the best decision I ever made as a BU student.

A day I’ll never forget was my first move-in day at Binghamton. As I was unpacking my belongings, one of my suitemates was playing “Halftime” by Nas. I’m a big hip-hop fan, so this immediately sparked my attention. I walked out of my room and started talking to him about it and one of my other suitemates followed suit. It turned out that most of us were big rap fans who liked a lot of the “golden age” rap of the mid-’80s and early ’90s. Right at that moment, all the doubts I had about transferring ceased to exist.

That same night, we all went out and bought a TV for the suite. Within hours of moving in, a squad was formed. The nightly Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) runs, long nights in Downtown Binghamton, staying up into the wee hours of the morning bonding over music and water pong are memories I will cherish for a lifetime. To Rob, Travis, Parm, Josh and Rohan, thank you for setting the tone for the rest of my time at BU. A random housing selection gave me some of my closest friends to this day. Cayuga 324 will live on forever.

I knew that as soon as I transferred to BU, I was going to play club tennis. I distinctly remember going to the general interest meeting (GIM) and feeling so excited to get on the courts. I was eager to showcase my skills against the best talent on the team. What I soon realized, however, was just how competitive the club actually was. The first day of practice humbled me immediately. I wasn’t upset, though — I joined with the hopes of improving my skill set. As I acclimated myself with the club, I became close with the E-Board members who were extremely friendly and inclusive, not to mention exceptional at tennis.

The E-Board invited me to several tournaments over the years, including the sectionals tournament in the Bronx last fall, where we competed against club teams from a number of colleges in the Northeast. Words cannot describe how exhilarating that tournament was for me. Even though my doubles partner and I got obliterated by Cornell’s doubles, I had a fantastic time bonding with the team. From playing on the West Gym courts five days a week to competing in tournaments, club tennis has given me close relationships and experiences that are near and dear to me. I am a better tennis player and person for it. To everyone involved with club tennis, thank you.

I’ve always had inclinations to write, but I was never sure in what capacity. I heard about Pipe Dream before I came to BU from my brother, who used to write for it when he attended BU. It came on my radar in the fall of 2019, when I knew I wanted to write for the paper. When I attended the GIM for Pipe Dream, I quickly noticed the tight-knit community. The staff was helpful as I contemplated which section to write for. I considered a number of sections, but I knew the Sports section would be the perfect fit for me and my personality.

The adjustment to the “recap” style of writing took some time, but the staff writers and editors of the section were extremely helpful and cooperative with all the questions I asked, however trivial they might’ve been. I never thought I’d enjoy conducting phone and in-person interviews, but the creative process of formulating questions was very satisfying. To Justin, Sam and Ed, thank you for being so helpful and guiding me to flourish as a contributor.

In a time where there is much to feel anxious, upset and frustrated about, I feel a sense of gratitude for the experiences I was able to have at BU. The friends I’ve made and the clubs I’ve joined have given me an immense source of happiness and fulfillment. COVID-19 may have put my last two semesters to a halt, but I can graduate knowing that I made the most of my time here. The return on investment, for me, is tenfold.

Aidan Higgins is a senior majoring in psychology.