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  • It was the end of my freshman year. I was on the Dinky, the two-car train that connects Princeton’s campus with New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor line. My duffle bag, a suitcase, and a backpack were piled up next to me on seats upholstered in a garish combination of brown and orange leather.

    My big sister sat across the aisle. She had come from San Francisco to help me move out of my dorm and bring me back home.

    It was hot and humid, verging on 95 degrees, and I was sweating through my shirt.

    As the train pulled out of the station, the immense emotion of completing my first year in college, the stress of packing up all of my belongings, the bewilderment of transition, the anxiety over what would come next—all came crashing down in one fell swoop.

    The tears started streaming down my cheeks. I was so exhausted. I couldn’t be bothered with such emotions. The only thing that made sense was to cry.

    My sister brushed my arm with her hand and passed over a postcard. As I was busy crying, she had written me a note right there on the Dinky.

    My blurry eyes passed over her familiar handwriting. I was breathless, stunned by each word.

    And then I took in a deep breath, smiled at her, and wiped my tears away.
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