How interesting it is to return to a place where I spent the past 4 years of my life and feel like an actual visitor.
I returned on Friday night and spent the evening catching up with my rooms over some delicious Mexican and margaritas, a now tradition for us. We were able to chat and laugh and get a good night’s sleep, despite a bit of a rude awakening around midnight…haha
Saturday was a day of reliving the college life. Saturday was the first time I had driven around campus in quite a while and just passing by Moseley and Alamance, I was reminded of the last couple of weeks of school and all the “lasts” but soon after those memories came those of my “firsts” at Elon. My first visit. My first weekend. My first homecoming weekend. My first Alpha Chi events. It’s such a weird feeling to really only think about the book ends of my time in college and miss everything in between. It was so wonderful catching up with friends who are also alums and those still at Elon. I also realized how much my life really has changed since graduating. I no longer see those things I did while I was in school as important or as “big of a deal” as I did then. I guess that’s a good thing though, right?! I went to the new/old Alpha Chi house and ran into all my friends, whether they be alums or undergrads and it was like I just traveled back to last fall when I was still a student. It was so normal yet I felt so separated and distant still. It truly is the strangest feeling I’ve experienced in a loooonnnnggggg time. It was wonderful seeing everyone and it made me so thankful for all my friendships despite how they’ve changed and how we’ve grown together and apart but yet, we can all still laugh and get along and appreciate one another.
Despite all the fun, it was very challenging balancing my time with everyone. I didn’t get to spend time catching up with some friends I hadn’t really gotten to talk to in 5 months or those I wanted to see more because it may be a while before I get to see them again. But the weirdest thing is that while my most of my really close friends and a few of my best friends were there–the larger group who impacted me the most while at Elon was missing. I felt almost lost without Jeanine, Kierstin, Liane, and Coleman there. We spent so much time together the last 2 years that being at Elon, with the kids we went to school with, living the typical Elon way of life, made me so incredibly sad and lonely knowing they weren’t there. Yes, Taylor and Jason were there, but the majority of the group was missing. I thought a lot about our nights at Kierstin’s and J&J’s apartment and just had a huge smile on my face. Yes, we didn’t always do the most ‘exciting’ things but the fact I still enjoy thinking about it, means more to me than anything else. I was driving back to Taylor’s apartment on Saturday night and I drove the way I normally would “home” to Manning and had to tell myself, out loud, not to turn to go to Manning because it was so routine and normal for me. It was so strange but I did that drive, that late, so many times after late Mario Kart sessions, movie nights, game nights (no Risk for us, right J, K, L?!) :), or just long life chats. Those late night drive home were a time for me to reflect on my friendships and truly appreciate to call, whoever it was at the time, my true friend. Were things always rainbows and sunshines? No. Did we always get along really well all the time? No. But regardless of that, we stuck by one another and that to me is what makes it all the more true and special.
Don’t mind my rant on that–it was just a weird sensation to feel like being at Elon was normal and like I went there, but also feel like I was a visitor and it was only for a brief time, but it was really what I needed to push myself forward to my “real” life.
Elon will always be home, no matter what, but I realized yet again, it’s the people that make the home, not the place. Looking forward to coming home when we can all reunite again…let’s make it in Italy…thoughts?? 🙂