From Such Great Heights

| May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

“Guys…this is going to be our home for the next four years.”

We were silent after that, her words hanging in the air as we stood and stared. In front of us: Boston, in full panoramic glory. The lights of the skyscrapers shone like jewels in a crown, reflecting and glimmering in the Charles River.

There were only a handful of us there, leftovers from orientation, the people that had to stay one extra night because of our travel plans. The school had put us in Stuvi2 for safe keeping. That’s where we were at that moment, up on the 24th floor, gazing at the city and what lay ahead of us.

This was the first time I had seen the Boston skyline in person. I had only visited the city once before orientation. Everything was still new to me, strange and almost mythical and certainly overwhelming.

We had been in the streets below us earlier that day. We had walked to the Prudential Center for dinner (I had my first clam chowder). Only one of us knew where we were going. I wasn’t that person. I was still completely lost.

But I didn’t feel lost up there on the 24th floor, gazing down from such a great height.

There are certain moments when you can just see, when the enormity of the future becomes clear and all you can do is just stand there and stare, trying desperately to let it all sink in.


photo credit: walknboston Boston Dusk via photopin (license)

photo credit: walknboston Boston Dusk via photopin (license)

I recently revisited that view during the day time, four years later, to gather some footage for a documentary I was working on. While my group partner was setting up the camera, I stood at the side and stared at the movement of the city below.

In those dashing cars and flashing windows I saw, well nothing. Just a city. I could point out where some things were. What a building was named. Where it was in connection to other parts of the city. I knew my way to the Prudential Center now.

I thought back to that night all those years ago, to the naiveté and hope of orientation. How strange to think about myself only four years ago. How different I was…

The memory of that time, of that me has faded, the edges frayed like a well-handled paperback. The magic of that moment during orientation has come and gone. Boston is no longer that magically unfamiliar city. The wonder and excitement of the unknown no longer rules my vision of the place.

I stand from a different perspective now. Back then, when I first saw this view, I at least had some clear future to think about and soak in. Things are much more nebulous now. There is no one place and path in front of me at the moment. Just endless opportunity and uncertainty…

“Um…are you ready?”

I turned to my group partner. “Yeah, sorry. I didn’t know you were waiting for me.”

I stepped away as we began filming, and continued to gaze, with the camera, at the city below, trying to remember how the skyscrapers looked four years ago.


feature photo credit: tehchix0r Boston aerial shot (Project 365: 321/365) via photopin (license)

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Category: Boston, Campus Culture, featured, Reflections

Violet Acevedo

About the Author ()

Stories, fictional and nonfictional, have always fascinated me. The desire to discover new stories is why I moved from Austin, Texas to Boston to go to school. The drive to learn about capturing stories is why I am in the College of Communication. And the need to express stories is why I write for this blog.

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