released into the wild

i often think, feel, and act younger than my current age, but i (unintentionally) found a way of combating that: return to the college campus you attended as an undergrad. the town that saw you grow from 18-22. the ‘burg that bubbled around you, protected you, secluded you, enhanced you, taught you, fought you, encouraged you.

6 of us decided to have an impromptu reunion in harrisonburg. i use the term impromptu loosely because nothing really is spontaneous when you’re trying to plan a trip with 6 people who have full time jobs and hectic lives and responsibilities. why go back to the ‘burg? yes, we may have spent more time out of college than in it. and we may be closer to 30 than 20. and we may not be carded anymore. and we may have our own healthcare. and we may pay all of our own bills. but we really aren’t that old, are we? we can still reclaim our youth, can’t we?

reality check. (transcribed for full effect).

BOY: birthday party. our apartment. saturday night.
JILL: my sister and her friends will be in town. we may swing by. we may not.
BOY: sister? friends? girls? they can come.
JILL hesitates, says: well, it’s my older sister and some of her friends.
BOY: how old?
JILL: they’re 28 and 29.

we embraced this new label. we declared it the weekend of cougars. we knew that even if we are old by college standards, we still could and would relive our glory days. we stayed at an off campus apartment. we visited all of the usual hot spots. we hit up some new restaurants. we showed 2 forms of id everywhere. we played pong. we won. we ate at the new dining hall. we toured campus. we thought about how lucky we were to go here. we ate. we pointed out new buildings. we took pictures of the old. we reminisced. we laughed. we ate. we told tour groups to pick this school. we bought new paraphernalia. we drank. we shivered and froze. (WTC, virigina. it’s march. i expect sunshine and daisies.) we marveled at the offerings. we talked about the changes the campus, and ourselves, have gone through. we ate. we were overwhelmed. we went to happy hour. we relaxed. we ate. we saw ghosts of our former selves. we waved. we cheers’d to 11 years of friendship. we filed away new memories.

and in the middle of all the “do you remember when”s, we accepted our transformation from duke dogs to cougars.

4 thoughts on “released into the wild”

  1. abby, this made me smile :)
    i feel overwhelmed by how lucky i am to have friends like you guys.
    and yes, we did WIN beer pong. those boys were amateurs! (and born in 1990…)
    p.s. the line, “we saw ghosts of our former selves. we waved.” kinda gave me chills…

    1. born in 1990. UGH. don’t remind me. i’d like to forget that piece of info.

      glad this made you smile because YOU make me smile. here’s to many more reunions.

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