Thursday, April 12, 2012

Focusing on The Best 4 Years of My Life

My husband gets slightly offended when I say that my college years at Syracuse University were the best 4 years of my life. I try to explain that it's nothing to be concerned about. I love my life and my family. But there is something to be said about the high level of freedom and independence that a "traditional" college experience provides, at least in my personal case.

I grew up when movies like "School Daze" and TV shows like "A Different World" and "The Cosby Show" were popular. Even though they focused on fictional black colleges, they created a vision of fun and exciting college experiences. They showed a college world that had students of color finding success and happiness in their lives. Who wouldn't love that.

SU is nowhere near a black or hispanic serving institution. Quite the contrary. But that didn't make my experiences their any less exciting. We find each other. And I was lucky enough to find a contingent of friends that have come to mean a great deal to me over the past 20 plus years.

When facebook came along, I reconnected virtually with even more of my college friends. I may not see them on a daily or even occasional basis. But when we do get together, we pick up right where we left off. We still talk about parties. The only difference is that the parties we meet up at are our kids' parties. And that's just fine with us. We certainly did plenty of partying for a life time in our 4 years in college. I don't miss it but I am glad I had those times.

So what brought on this burst of nostalgia?

Hall of Languages and Memorial to the victims of Lockerbie flight bombing
I visited SU on March 31st. My sorority's chapter turned 20 in March and I didn't want to miss the celebration. Yes, I was the oldest person there. Even the keynote speaker was 8 monhts younger than me. But it felt like home. With the exception of a few new buildings, the place hasn't changed a bit. And that brought back so many good memories. Even the mural in the stairwell of the student center was exactly the same. And that mural has to be well over 20 years old. I felt like I could move in and pick up where I left off.

Carrier Dome

Schine Student Center Atrium
Bird Library

The Ben Shahn Mural of the Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

Alas my family and job required me to return to the NYC grind. But it was still a very nice 24 hour stroll down memory lane. Did I mention they were the best 4 years of my life?


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