I have moved oh-so-many times, according to some friends, with yet more moves to come.

Moving into Androscoggin Hall at the University of Maine when she transferred there her junior year was Vicki Sullivan’s first experience of dorm life. Photo courtesy of Vicki Sullivan

But two moves stand out, both firsts: my move away to college at the University of Maine at Orono, and my move to Lewiston, into my first apartment after I got my first teaching job.

Both moves marked my independence.

Because I wanted to experience dorm life, I transferred to the University of Maine my junior year of college. I was eagerly and happily looking forward to this move as I packed the day before. Because my mother never really showed her feelings, I wasn’t sure if she was glad or sad to see me leave. Sad, she admitted later.

My parents helped me pack up my things to make the long trip up to Orono. When we arrived in front of my dorm, Androscoggin Hall, there was a line of cars in front of it. We put my things in the room I was going to share with Judy, whom I had met at what was then the University of Maine at Portland.

The move went quickly, my family left, and I remember that sudden pang of loneliness that hit me. To keep ourselves from feeling strange, Judy and I went to see a movie in the lounge. This diversion worked, and the next day we started our classes.

After graduating from college, I moved back home for three years, working, taking education classes, student teaching and then looking for a teaching job. I found one at Edward Little in Auburn. For two weeks I commuted but decided I needed to live nearer.

My mother and I went apartment hunting in Auburn and Lewiston, and we found one for me in an old brick building from the ’30s on Main Street in Lewiston.

Although a move was exciting, it was also going to be strange for me to live on my own. I liked being part of a family.

Everyone else in my family was organized and methodical in packing, but not me. I just threw things in. The day of the move my father and another helper put what few pieces of furniture and other household items I had into a truck. The rest of us took our cars.

After we arrived at my new apartment, my family put away my items quickly, then we ordered out pizza from Sam’s. They left soon after. My mother frequently mentioned she felt as if they had just dropped me off, but I never felt that way. I was excited about my new adventure. And putting my things away kept me from the realization that I was now alone.

There were other moves to follow, but not as memorable.

And although my moves have always been temporary, my first two moves have stayed in my memories permanently.

filed under: