I just got home from the first real college reunion we’ve had since we graduated last May. I always thought it was kind of bogus when alumni would come back and be like “Ah, the real world is so hard, stay here and enjoy it while you can kiddos. I’ve changed and you’ll change, too.” What’s ten months.
And then I saw some girls dressed in not much on the way to a frat party last night. Ugh. Never again. Never really ever that much before. But, certainly never again. I… felt… old?
It was the 80th anniversary of Alpha Phi Omega’s Phi Chapter. APO is a co-ed community service fraternity originally started by the Boy Scouts. It is the largest collegiate fraternity in the United States with over 350 chapters, 17,000 active students and 350,000 alumni including George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Tom Daschle, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, Sr., Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
New goal: I’d like to get my name on Alpha Phi Omega’s notable alumni Wikipedia page.
That comes after old goal: Mensa.
So, first weekend back at campus and what did we learn.
Well, a lot of you read this blog. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “world traveler” or “I read every post…” You all sure make a girl feel like she’s doing something right. Or interesting, at least.
I have the greatest friends. Ones that make me laugh, make me smile, make fun of me and fun of themselves… simply make fun. 48 hours in Syracuse and I came away from the weekend with potential roles on APO’s Region II staff, the national committee for Membership and Extension, thoughts that a APO friend’s sister might illustrate my children’s books and a lot of laughs in the meantime.
I’m laying in bed trying to process this weekend. I’m thinking about how – against all corny, bogus “alumni are so cliche” feelings I have – so much has changed in the past ten months. Or for some friends at the reunion, the past 2-3 years.
We’re all over the map. Still in school, doing more school, interning, job searching, job working. Single, newly dating, dating for years, married. Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania. Moving to California. Just moved from California.
It goes on.
And now I’m back in my upstate NY bed, friends all back to their own respective “real world” lives. And a lot has changed in ten months.
But not really.
Not when you find yourselves sitting around the breakfast table talking about work and family and boys.
It’s the same people, and it’s the little things that make you realize how much you’ve missed the people that know you better than you’d ever think.
Silly case in point from a sleepy writer.
I didn’t realize how much I’d been through with this group until I looked at how many hair colors I’d been through.
Happy, sad, social, anti-social. Busy, not busy. Taken, single. + and – twenty pounds. Confident and insecure.
They’ve known me blonde, brunette and bangs.
They’ve gotten me through thick and thinning-from-too-much-dye.
And you know, until yesterday, I hadn’t realized most of my time now is spent with people I’ve met since graduation. Also known as since the last time I dyed my hair. This single, latest iteration of me.
But not this group. And thank goodness, I think they like this latest iteration – natural hair color included – best, because I still count on their every opinion.
And I bet I will, ten months or ten years from now.