Fresh off I-81, I arrived at the University of Virginia in my Virginia Tech sweatshirt. You could say I stood out. But no matter: I was welcomed into the Washington Papers family as if I were one of their own, not just as an undergraduate who would be there for several weeks, but as another historian and aspiring archivist.
After a difficult spring semester, I returned home from the University of Virginia to visit my family, exchanging the stirring smell of coffee from Alderman Library for the welcoming aroma of authentic Vietnamese food. Being home is always a welcome, much-needed break. My productivity level plummets, and my motivation to look presentable disappears. I constantly find myself wearing pajama pants and T-shirts, and I usually think my fashion choices are fine. Being home is a break from the necessity to appear “put-together”…or so I thought.
As the giant Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon inched its way to the lineup, all I could hear was “This is it!” The moment felt surreal. I was in the middle of the street of New York City, grinning widely in my orange-and-blue uniform, and getting ready to perform in the two-and-a-half mile march from Central Park to the Macy’s star in Midtown Manhattan.