This past weekend was my first Homecoming as an alum. First of all- when did I become a college grad? And how incredibly crazy is that??
I was just standing on College Green on Saturday, listening to the Penn Band play their corny songs, people selling the Toast for various charitable causes, and smiled. I am a Penn alum.
So, of course I needed to pack as much as humanly possible into the less than 48 hour time span I was there... Greek Lady, Bubble Tea, Buis (mmmm), Mad4Mex margaritas, Wawa green tea, a stroll down Locust Walk- you know, the usual. Oh, and it was lovely.
It was so very nice to see nearly everyone I love in the span of 2 days, the weather on Saturday turned out to be great, and from the football game and Mask and Wig show and Penn Singers Halloween party, to hanging out here, there, and everywhere, it just felt so... normal... and so... RIGHT. It was like I was back in college again, senior year, without a care in the world, hanging out with my friends, and going about my business. Only, not... because it was actually just an entirely idealistic combination of all the positive attributes of that life, crammed into one weekend. So, I think most of us, while we had a blast and a ton of fun, left kind of not quite knowing how to feel.
I think combined with the fact that we're all kind of at that point where we're realizing that this isn't just another 10 week summer internship and we're not switching classes every 3 months, or moving to another 10x14 dorm space or choosing meal plans, or bursaring Penn hoodies. This is our life now, love it or hate it. Or somewhere in between. And for me, I love my life here in New York, but getting a taste of what I had before kind of makes me uncertain of where my place is now. I partied like an undergrad (though I'm certainly not quite so able to do that anymore haha- thanks for that, Singers), yet that's not my life now. I dress and work like an "adult," yet that's not quite my life either. I think we're all somewhere in between. Which was only confirmed today when I saw the look on the faces of other Penn alums at work. We didn't even have to talk to know that we all felt the same way. Or when I heard about another friend at work who broke up with her (long-distance) boyfriend this past weekend. Or from another guy who is really struggling to find how to express himself when he doesn't have the constant dynamic and challenging interactions that are kind of inherent in relationships in college. We're all somewhere in the middle. Longing both for what is past and future, but not quite sure what to do with the present.
So, I don't have any answers, and it's more just ruminating on what appears to be variations on a theme for (arguably) every 06er I know. We're just trying to find our place, and the path is more often than not being carved out on our own terms, in our own time, and with tools that we have to discover and utilize on our own. Here's hoping we have a good compass.