I was talking to my friend Bridget about the meaning of home and which place actually becomes your home once you start living on campus. It was actually at this big reunion that we paused and realized: when you’ve returned home, you call campus ‘home’ and vica versa. I believe, though, that only occurs if you feel a certain level of comfort and joy for the school that you are attending.
I had been anticipating this reunion. You hear the stories from other college alums and even those ‘How to survive freshman year’ books that I totally read just a few months ago, about how awkward the first reunions are.
Tonight I had mine.
And loved it! Maybe that sounds cheesy but I literally spent four hours just talking with different people, catching up on life. Looking back, it wasn’t like the only thing we talked about was college, rather high school memories, common interests, and everything else you used to talk about. I didn’t find it hard to find things to talk about either with my friends, even those I hadn’t talked to in the past three months.
I find that people mature in college. I was expecting some high school drama or residue to taint this experience, but there was none. People who were never true friends still respected each other and since that ‘we go to the same school’ barrier was eliminated, it was more free-flowing of a conversation.
So, I am putting those myths or negative comments on first reunions to dust: you can still hang out with your ‘old’ friends, just like you used to.
In fact, though I find I’ve become a bit more reserved in college, when my one friend found the piano and started playing classics, the whole room stopped and belted: “Took the midnight train going anywhere.” Even though my friends and I can be classified as the ‘theater kids’ in the sense we have film, music, and musical theater majors amongst us/met in theater, improve, etc, we always used to belt and it was heartwarming to see that it could still continue.
I’m sorry I don’t have a cool video to attach to this blog, though there were moments where my hands itched for my camera that I left at my Mason home, but picture this:
A room full of laughter, pasta and pumpkin pie, a guy and girl on the piano in the back of the room. There are people standing, eating, making s’mores, sitting, listening. There is a loud hum, constant drumming and motion of friends sharing stories, providing support and giving out much-needed advice. There are the friends who are sharing facebook photos or favorite YouTube videos, while some compliment each other’s socks. There is never a dull moment and never a person left without someone to talk to or reminisce with.
So, my friends, if you’re worried about how it will be upon seeing your friends for the first time, a major concern for me, it all depends on how willing you are to accept that things have changed, but appreciate the change and how it makes you cherish those old moments even more.