Like I said in a previous post, I’ve been back to my college town many times since graduating in 2003. I have good friends and classmates who still live there, so it’s not terribly scary to go to a reunion because I know they will be there. But I was still nervous. What if it turned into one of those, “I do this and that, and I’m so successful and own three houses” type of reunions? Thankfully for all parties involved, it didn’t. Maybe it’s because we live in an age of Facebook, where status updates keep us apprised of what people are up to and there’s less need to update in real life.
Anyway, it wasn’t as painful as I thought it was going to be. In fact, it was a lot of fun. Here’s how I survived and enjoyed it:
1) Eat out a lot. I enjoyed milkshakes from Ice-burg (get the peanut butter shake!); great food from Thai Ploy; and very yummy breakfasts at The Maple Counter and Bacon & Eggs. I also went out with some friends for dessert to the Colville Street Patisserie – I highly recommend the Earl Gray gelato!
When I was in college, we often drove to Tri-Cities to eat at (gasp!) Red Robin or Olive Garden. It’s so great that the town has so much great food to offer now. A weekend isn’t long enough to eat everything I wanted!
2) Spend time with good people. I had so much fun just chatting with a few good friends. It was great to catch up with them. And I didn’t feel guilty about not over-extending and trying to talk with everyone I sort of knew in college. I suppose this is another indication I’m less of an extrovert as I was back then. Small talk intimidates me.
3) Don’t go to every alumni event. Choose how to spend your time. My husband loves the board meetings and seminars. I enjoy the music events and free food. We also had to balance our time with things our 2-year old toddler would enjoy, which meant we were running around campus lawns, just because we could, and went to the car show where he received his junior firefighter sticker.
4) Enjoy familiar sights and smells. I waxed nostalgic when walking by the dorm, thinking about the Friday and Saturday afternoons I spent taking long naps; when going to see the newly renovated library and smelling the same old-book smell that didn’t go away when the new windows and lights were installed; when running after my toddler past the classrooms and buildings that made college challenging; and when driving 20 MPH down the main drag, thinking about bed races and midnight breakfast during Dead Week.
Maybe in 10 years when we pose for another photo, I will be able to sigh in relief that all the big things I really want have come to pass.