They say that college is the best four (or five) years of your life and my time spent at Mississippi State was living proof of that. In proving so, it provided countless stories and lessons learned the hard way, with folks that I still consider to be some of my best friends to this day.
The day I arrived in Starkville, I was bound for the nearest public land refuge immediately upon the unpacking of the last box in the bed of my truck, to scout out potential “turkey-woods” for the following spring. I found them, and later found the turkeys inhabiting them during the following seasons. I learned a lot about turkey hunting on public lands while in Starkville and will forever have the memories made engraved into this life-long mental journal of mine.
Though they went by too fast, as all good times do, I am thankful that I realized that those moments were one-of-a-kind, and that the opportunity of having similar times would never happen again, once that tassel found the other side of its cap on graduation day. Moments like waking up a roommate to snap a quick picture, watching countless iridescent turkey feathers fill the streets of the Cotton District while cleaning a bird on University Drive, and racing to class in a pair of Lacrosse rubber boots to plead a case with a professor holding a test that began thirty minutes ago, were all time-bound opportunities. As typical broke college kids, we were able to make a couple of turkey breasts last at least a week and we knew that with every bird also came rounds and rounds of story-telling for the night’s to come.
It’s crazy to think back on the simplicity of those times and how much the real world tries to change us. Memories such as these reside on a one-way street and like all good things, come to an end. Some friendships remain, some have moved on, and some were never heard from again. The chapters of life are written quickly and can only coincide with another’s for so long, but along the way you live and you learn - more so about yourself than anything else. I have since found myself flying through the chapters that follow these college years; however, I have yet to find anything that can cure a Friday night hangover quite like the gobble of an old Noxubee longbeard.