Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The plastic bag filled with the remaining odds and ends from my dorm room slapped my leg as I made my last trek between my old room in Thatcher South and my new room in Thatcher.  It was just after 7:00 pm and graduation was happening over in the gym.  My thoughts wandered along the dim alleyways of nostalgia.

Alumni.  Alumnus.  What does that really mean, anyway?  Shoot, you know, I don't really like being an alumnus.  Being an alumnus means you don't really belong anymore.  You once did, but now you don't.  Alumni are the people who come back to remember the "good ol' days", walking along the hallways familiar hallways searching for your picture on the wall.  They see all current students and feel old, mature, and distant.  Being an alumnus meant you once were, but now are not.  How sad.  The thing is, alumni really DO belong.  They slept in my room, sat at the same spot as me in the cafeteria.  They walked our same hallways.  They belong - certainly they do!  Yet, once they drive/fly/ride away that one last time, everything changes.  Sure, for a few years, coming back will bring cheerful greetings from old friends and faculty.  But as the years tick by, as kids are born, as the grey hairs multiply, things will change.  They will return, only to be greeted by silent classrooms and cold sidewalks.  The people they once knew and loved will be gone.


It was then that the thought struck me.  The thought without which, I would have melted into a nostalgic  puddle of misery.

Hmmm.... the people.
Ok, so the place will not be the same.  I will come back, and it will just be cold and empty, despite the young life teeming all around.  Very few will know my place here and even fewer will care.
The people...
It's the people that make the years after school special.
Ashley - nursing friend, fellow beauty lover, boy discusser (yes Barry, she was completely in-the-know regarding last semester)
Marissa - nursing friend, fellow jokester, lover of purple, Assessment buddy
Sarah...
Allana...
Jason...
Jeff...
Kristin...
John...
Alice...


People.  Hundreds of them.  These are the people who I will remember.  The halls don't matter, my old room doesn't matter.  The road that now has a ridiculous circle on it really won't matter.  But the people do.  They are the ones who I will bump into later in life.  They will understand.  They will recognize the common ties and laugh as they remember the good times.  It won't matter whether we meet at Southern, or in Africa.  Because it's the people that matter.  People.


Maybe this thought-process truly marks my entryway into the realms of an alumnus, even though I'm still a semester away.  But surely I can put its principles into practice now, before I become "just another alumnus".

3 comments:

Joel said...

Hey, I'm now officially one semester away from becoming an alumnus too!
Well-written post by the way :)

Jackie said...

mm now you see why I keep coming back to see you guys ;)

It is the people that make Southern. The people who fill the memories you fond over on a bad day.

But, the more I talk to people, I realize how blessed I am to have had that. To know what it's like to be a part of something so special. You will always have that.

Christen said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Christy. I like your thoughts on this because I felt similarly when I was at graduation on Wednesday night. Only one more semester, and we'll all go our separate ways and life will be different, but there will always be people and new experiences to look forward to, and hopefully some of the same friends will last forever. If they don't in this world, at least they will in eternity. :D

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