Over the summer, it was alright. I had gone this long without school before. It was a break from the papers and the reading, a happy homecoming and the beginning of the job search. As summer turned to fall, I read the Facebook updates of friends with years left in their education and waxed nostalgic on the registration process (as my blog readers well know). But I still appreciated my working-from-home freedom and enjoyed the extension of summer I had not experienced since I was five.
Recently, however, I have missed school to a terrifying degree. I have dreams about seminar debates, and daydreams about conference topics I wish I had explored. I watched a documentary on PBS about teenage girls today, and when one girl was about the graduate high school and was receiving her college acceptance letters, I actually cried in longing for that time. I found a jacket in my closet from my senior year of high school, clearly last worn during a 'Spirit Week', on a day when seniors were meant to advertise the college they would be attending. Not having a baseball cap or t-shirt of SLC, I made a badge of honor out of shoebox cardboard adorned with glitter and ribbons. Again, the nostalgia for the days when I had four years of Bronxville ahead of me.
Anyway, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post-A Cocktail Reunion. Well, just in time to either cure or worsen my schoolsickness, I attended a happy hour gathering brought together by the Office of Alumnae/i Relations. A happy hour for SLC grads in Austin.
Seeing as it has taken me a few days to get around to finishing this post, I'll skip an excess of details and just say that it was nice to meet fellow weirdos like myself, and see how life after SLC has been going for them. And though there were semi-depressing moments (like when one alum mentioned that she was a former freelancer who gave it up because of publisher's shrinking budgets), overall it was one step closer to thinking of myself as an adult who went to college instead of a college student who has been flung into the real world.
I still miss it, though. I still wish I was being forced into reading 3 books a week and analyzing a single paragraph in five pages due the next day. I miss conferences and Pub dinners, I miss it all. My father tells me I'm lucky that given the opportunity, I would do four more years of college. He could not express the same sentiments about his own university days. And in a way, this is the first instance of, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I would rather miss midnight breakfast than never have gone and made the friends that I did.