It’s been a while since I’ve uttered the phrase: “God, I miss college.” You know the phrase. You’ve said it yourself, I’m sure. I probably said it for the first two to three years post college after my first initial brushes with the real world, such as bad bosses, working for eight (plus) hours in a day, paying rent, etc. Although I’m over it now, I did have a nostalgic fueled Sunday this past weekend as I attended an Indiana University alumni sponsored send off event for local San Francisco Bay Area students.
As I was asked to speak in front of the group on the benefits of being in the Greek system, a wave of emotion came over me. I don’t know if it was 100% genuine nostalgia, or if it was 30% beer, but somewhere between “I’ve made my best friends to this day in my sorority”, and “Turning 30 in Cabo with my besties”, I felt a little lump forming, clogging up the airways…and then that old feeling came over me that said: God, I miss college.
In talking with the incoming freshman and hearing things such as “orientation” and “dorm selection”, I had shooting images in my head of my own first steps as an official student on the beautiful Indiana University campus. It was actually a really muggy day and somewhat overcast, but nothing could dampen my enthusiasm. You see, I wanted nothing more in my life up until that point than to go to IU. Being a huge basketball fan growing up, and having majah crushes on old greats such as Steve Alfred and Damon Bailey, I fantasized about what it would be like to actually be a student there, going to games…dating a star player…
And there I was – 11 years later – telling someone (who probably looks at me like an old lady) to appreciate every moment they have at IU. I reminded them of what they’ve probably been told a million times; “These four years will fly by.” I even found myself giving advice that I wish I’d been given as an incoming student. Like, if you love something, major in it – take as many classes in the subject as possible. Don’t think the only options are the big three: doctor, lawyer or business person. One guy I met was going to IU to study acting – how cool is that? If I had said that’s what I wanted to do back in the day, I think people would’ve laughed at me and said “Get suuuuurious”.
One freshman said she was a Journalism major and enjoyed writing, so I encouraged her to start a blog. It could be in the subject she intends to have a career in (such as political writing), or it could be about chronicling her college experience. The point I was making to her is that this is writing experience. And most of the time when we leave college all we have are a couple boring essay papers that no potential boss is ever going to read. She seemed genuinely intrigued by the idea of blogging and thankful for the suggestion, and that made me feel good!
Sorority girl revived
As I get older, I notice that I’m less and less of a schmoozer. I can’t stand waltzing around at company events snapping my fingers and chatting up people that I barely know. I know I should do this, but I just don’t like small talk. It’s boring and uncomfortable for the most part. But at this event, it’s like my good ‘ole sorority “rushing” persona came right back and suddenly I was working the room with the biggest smile and the most enthusiastic questions. This too, brought me back to that little sorority girl I once was.
I no longer wish I was back in college sweatin’ over a biology test or partying until 3am in bars with women’s bras and panties stapled to the ceiling. I’m over it. But then again, there’s just something about seeing the excitement and wonder in those little people’s faces and knowing what they’re about to embark on that makes me think; man, I really do miss college.