It’s late night of moving day, and my mom and I are at a hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. We just spent about eight hours on the road listening to my awesome road trip playlist, reading poetry, and just generally being us. Tomorrow, we’ll drive to Chicago, where we’ll spend the night (and finally meet my baby cousins), and then, it’s on to Pittsburgh.

Just a note about goodbyes: they’re both easier and harder than you think they are. They’re easier because your brain (or at least my brain) doesn’t seem to actually comprehend that you’re leaving. If you’re like me and have never been away from your family for more than a couple of weeks, you have no precedent for this. I’ve never even moved more than a few miles, so I’ve never had a real friend goodbye, either. There were lots of tearful goodbyes on all sides, but I just can’t imagine four months without being able to see my family or my best friends. They’re harder than you think, though, because this time, it’s real. You really can’t plan for it.

Sorry if I sound melodramatic. That’s just part of the package, I think. I’ve also been spending most of my time lately with my close friends and the rest with my family, so the change is a little jarring (at least in theory—I don’t think I’ll believe it until mid-orientation or so).

I had a lot more last-minute packing than I thought. It also looked like just a couple boxes until we shoved them all into the back of my mom’s Pacifica with the back seats folded down. They filled up the rest of the car. I was kind of impressed, and kind of worried—I’m living on the second floor of my dorm.

On that note, while packing, keep in mind that you’re eventually going to have to carry these things to your room. I didn’t realize that more boxes that are smaller are much better than fewer boxes that are very large. I have a huge box full of space-bagged clothing, bedding, and dorm stuff, and my parents barely managed to get it down the stairs and into the car (I’m a weakling). When we get to campus, my mom and I are going to take up a smaller box, unpack it, and use it to repack some of the stuff from the big box. So, don’t do what I did.

Also, if you have a car charger for anything (iPod, computer, phone, etc.) and you’re driving to campus, make sure that the charger actually fits your device. My mom thought her charger would charge my computer, but it turns out that it won’t, and now I’m stuck with several hours in the car with no computer. Why, yes, I am a whiner, thank you.

Side note—my mom and I stopped to gas up in Ogallala, Nebraska, and they seriously had a cricket infestation. They were everywhere out by the pump. There were also a bunch of these bizarre green bugs chilling on the pump and a couple of other bugs I couldn’t identify. A giant beetle jumped into my hair (my mother says it was shiny enough to see your face in). It was pretty intense. Hello, Nebraska.

Also, driving in the night does interesting things to your imagination (or vice versa): at one point, there was a configuration of lights in front of us that looked uncannily like the silhouette of the Emerald City. We could not for the life of us figure out what it was. And then, as we got closer, we realized that it was just perspective of a string of street lights.

So, that’s all for now. I’ll probably update again tomorrow since I’ll be in the car all day. Makes for good blogging time!