I have always wanted to go on an adventure

across Europe, carrying my life in a backpack.

Except, I’d be that person carrying everything in a box.

When it comes time leave for college,

I’m not sure that there would be enough room for all of them.


I need one for uncertainty.

Freshman year when Mr. Herbst asked me about college

I listed schools that were inside of the Illinois borders.

I wasn’t ready to admit that I wanted find my potential-

somewhere outside of the box I’ve called home.


Junior year,

I changed my mind at least 5 times to a

different school that exists somewhere

beyond the grasps of Lake Michigan.


I carry around two planners in an attempt

to give my life a 3-Dimensional structure; but

the page dated May 1st

does not have

the answer of where my future is going written there.


I need a second set  

for all of my instructions and GPS.

I’m directionally challenged

I don’t remember which highways

I need to take to get to Oxford.

I wonder if the GPS will tell me to

turn left until I’ve gotten back where I started.


I’m socially awkward.

Buried in one of those boxes

are the instructions on how to make friends.

I’m not sure that I’ve done enough of that

during high school to remember how to.


The last one would contain everything irrational.

Truth is,

there is something about leaving home that scares me.

I’m afraid of what will change;

I just know I’m not ready for it.


In July, I am going to have to buy boxes

so I can start packing for college.

But I don’t even know if it is possible to

compress the irrationality and uncertainty

of the only life I’ve ever known.

There is something about having to construct boxes

that should be exciting.

I don’t know if

I’m ready to move out of mine.


In August,

I will pack my mother’s car.

when everything in those boxes breaks open—

I will finally realize that I am moving away to college.

I’ll sit in the passenger seat of her car;

while we drive the 5 hours and 12 minutes

from Oak Park to Oxford, Ohio.

On that day,

I will walk onto the Miami University campus;

meet my roommate for the first time,

and forget how to navigate the campus.

My dorm room will be filled

with collapsed boxes.

They’re just cardboard, nothing significant.

In a couple of days,

they’ll be in the bottom of a recycling bin.

The memories they held

will be tacked on the wall in my dorm.


I would pack my life under the folds of brown boxes—

if I thought that it would take me somewhere new. 

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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