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Sitting at my grandparents’ breakfast table as a little kid, I once had the brilliant idea of taking one of the die from a board game and stuffing it up my ear. When I tried to take the die out, I counterintuitively pushed it farther and farther into my ear canal. Worried but embarrassed, I hesitated to tell anyone about what I had done, until my parents finally noticed hours later.
Whenever I think of the first day of school, I think of a specific photo of myself standing outside of my grandparents’ apartment in Rio. I’m 3 years old, wearing a school uniform, holding a clear backpack and grinning from cheek to cheek. My parents had put me and my sister in school in Rio during parts of July and August, and I was so excited to be able to attend.
When I was nine years old, I convinced my family to drive 3.5 hours to Hershey Park to see a Selena Gomez concert. As a huge child fan of the Disney show Wizards of Waverly Place, I was thrilled beyond belief to finally see Selena in person. As we found our seats on the bleachers of Hersheypark Stadium, I gradually noticed the clouds turn a dark gray, and I soon heard the rumbling noise of thunder. As a massive downpour began, the opening act exited the stage, and the concert came to a halt.
I recently stumbled upon a video of my 3-year-old self lying in bed, holding up a Fodor’s Washington, D.C. travel book with a confused look on my face. At the time, I couldn’t read yet, and I most definitely had not developed my passion for making travel itineraries, but I could pinpoint certain words and pictures that interested me. In the video, you can hear me excitedly yell, “I found the letter G! G is for Gabi...” in a barely coherent mix of English and Portuguese.
I’ve never considered myself much of a chef. Growing up, I only knew how to prepare the basics. From making Bisquick pancakes with my dad on Sunday mornings to rolling Brazilian brigadeiro chocolates with my mom in the middle of the night, I learned to cherish the time I spent cooking with my family, even if we were making the simplest of items.
My March 2020 began at midnight on the steps of a movie theater. My friends and I had just gone to see Parasite. The five of us sat huddled side-by-side with enormous bags of popcorn and candy, enthralled by every twist and turn the movie had to offer. We even chuckled when one of our friends pulled out a disinfectant wipe to clean her theater seat.
Was it a bummer having the end of your senior year taken away from you?
I’ve been living on campus for a little over a week, and I already feel excited for the semester ahead. Yet I would be lying to myself if I did not also admit that moving to college has made me feel an indescribable dose of nostalgia. In Portuguese, we refer to this as saudades.
I have never enjoyed waking up early. In my opinion, it is pure cruelty to wake up at the crack of dawn, haul myself out of bed and leave the comfort of my pillows and blankets. I have slept through my fair share of alarms, shown up late to school on too many occasions and once even missed a train ride because of my inherent inability to wake up on time. That is why, this summer, on the day before freshman class registration, I was nervous, anxious and overwhelmed by the idea of having to select my classes at 7:00 a.m. the next morning.
I loved apple picking as a child. Whether it was juggling the apples, playing hide-and-seek between the bushes or just spending quality time with family and friends, it was always an activity near and dear to my heart. However, my family sadly stopped going after one year when three of my family friends, my sister and I all got severe poison ivy from an apple tree we had climbed.