…was fun and exhausting. I spent every night during the last week of July with my friends at various events and venues, hoping to get in one last memory with each of them before leaving. (I apologize in advance for writing about personal things, but this blog is also for my friends and family :) ).

On Monday, I met up with my girlfriend and a few friends for dinner, and then the GF and I went to watch 500 Days of Summer, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Tuesday night, we met up at my friend’s house for our final movie night; we saw The Fall, which has some breathtaking cinematagrophy, and looked amazing in blu-ray on his large 120Hz HDTV. On Wednesday, I met up with some friends at a sports bar downtown for a birthday (I’m 27 now!) and farewell event. Afterwards, we went to watch a softball game that was surprisingly fun (thanks in large part to us heckling our friends). Thursday night, I played Bang with my friends (whose 8-week-old baby is adorable) for the last time. I never realized how much fun a card game could be given the right company, and I now have a copy courtesy of said friends. This was also the first time I’ve tried cake balls, and I will resist making a dirty joke about my friend’s delicious balls. Finally, on Friday I went downtown with my girlfriend and close friend from college and had a few drinks; waking up the next morning was difficult, but worth it for a Don Juan taco from Juan in a Million.

My last full day in Austin was on Saturday. After eating that 1lb taco, we went to play pool volleyball with everyone right down the street from the IBM building where I spent many long days and nights. It was a fantastic way to make the most of a less-than-100-degree day. That night, we relaxed at my friend’s house celebrating their dog’s birthday, watching boy-band videos (not by my choice!) and funny youtube clips, and chatting it up. As 1 am rolled around, we gathered our things and left. It was a simple last goodbye, but then I asked my GF to turn around to do one last thing at their place. This time, I was almost moved to tears after seeing my GF and friend start crying. The next morning I set off for Houston to spend a week with my parents before driving up to Evanston.

The excitement has been building amongst the online 2011 Kellogg community as we wrap up loose ends, plan our trips out to Evanston, and prepare for the indoctrination to Kellogg life via the KWEST trip and then CIM.

I, for one, can’t wait to slip on my Kellogg snuggie and dance around on the streets of Evanston under the stars hoping to catch one as it falls. I imagine that the next two years are going to be amazing (I want to still be telling stories about my time at Kellogg when I’m old and have lost bladder control), but I have to admit that leaving Austin has been bittersweet at best, and quite sad at worst. I left behind a group of friends that I cared about a lot; the kind of folks that you can drop your guard around without hesitation and leave you feeling refreshed after an encounter, as if you just jumped into a cool lake.