Saturday afternoon I left both boys with my Mom and drove to the campus of my Alma Mater, Kutztown University. It has been nearly five years since I have visited the campus, and this was the first time I have ever attended a University reunion. I'm not typically a fan of reunions, but the fact that my friends were attending was enough motivation to make the trip.
As I was driving to the reunion, my mind began to fill with memories. My years at Kutztown were so special, but it is only recently that I have come to realize how those experiences have shaped me into the person who I am today. From the silly to the mundane, everything came rushing back. All of a sudden I became homesick for those nights in the dorm, sitting around in our sweatpants eating pizza and giggling with my friends.
Although I'm at a happy place in my life, I don't have the friend connections that I had during those college years. Visiting with friends usually involves a lot of planning and driving, and unfortunately it doesn't happen nearly enough. I didn't realize it at the time, but there was something very special about being able to simply walk across a hallway to talk with a friend.
By the time I was driving onto campus, I was overwhelmed with emotions that are difficult to decipher. I was happy to be back, yet it was surreal and uncomfortable to feel like a visitor at the place which used to be so comfortable. Somehow time has flown by, and those carefree years are gone. I became sad with the realization that I have become one of the middle-aged alumni visitors who I used to see walking around campus.
Thankfully my mini midlife crisis was thwarted as soon as I saw my friends. Although I felt like a visitor on campus, it was as if time has stood still when talking with my friends. We haven't seen each other in years, but somehow our conversation flowed so naturally, it was as if we saw each other every day.
I was looking forward to seeing my friends, but it wasn't until I was with them that I realized how much I needed to reconnect. They know a side of me that often becomes overshadowed and lost in my roles as mom, wife, and employee. For a few hours I was able to just be me, without the responsibilities and baggage of being a full-fledged adult.
I've come to the conclusion that being an adult is overrated. Although I don't feel like campus is home anymore, it is nice to know that I will always be comfortable with my friends. Perhaps someday we will all live in the same retirement home. We can be hell-raisers with walkers.
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