I had no idea how much I would enjoy Homecoming Weekend at Milligan. Since we decided to go I've just been thinking, "Well, I hope it will be fun" but haven't really felt super excited about it. As the days drew closer and I started seeing more and more of my favorite Milliganites respond that they were coming I did get more and more excited. By Friday night I was almost in a frenzy to see people from Milligan. Tony and I arrived way too early at the young alumni social and had to wait around to see people we knew, but I was just too ready to kick off the weekend!
Being emotional and nostalgic as I am, I wasn't really sure how I would feel about being on campus. It always makes me sad to go back somewhere and realize that it is no longer the way that I remembered it. This was not the case last weekend. As Tony said in the previous blog, and all of us mentioned to one another quite a few times to one another during the weekend, Milligan felt almost exactly the same. Because we were surrounded by so many well-known and well-loved faces, it felt like we had never really left. The only difference is that now some of us come with spouses and/or kids which somehow just added to the fun. Milligan was exactly the same beautiful, relaxing place I remember it being. The picture to the right is of Derthick Hall, which was renovated during our years at Millgan. It is probably my favorite academic building because all my English classes were held there. Although there have been changes, they have been so well done that nothing really felt out of place. I spent time walking around campus with the people I love, while we all tried to capture as much of these fabulous moments on film as we could. Check out the beautiful view from Sutton Hill, where I lived for three years. The other picture is of me in front of my dorm room door in Sutton.
One thing I always am astounded by when I see my friends from college is that so little has changed between us. Sure, our lives have changed a lot and sure, we have missed sharing a lot of things over the past five years in the way of happiness or hardship, but somehow that initial spark that brought us all together is still there. If possible I think we all love and appreciate one another MORE now that we don't get to see one another that often (or live together and daily become annoyed by one another's idiosyncrasies.)
I was especially thrilled to get to spend time with my roommates from senior year. We even took the time to head up (via vehicle, not walking up Sutton Hill) to our old apartment to annoy its new tenants and take pictures outside the door. We talked about how we half expected to open the door and see the apartment exactly as it was when we lived there. Our old hand-me down couches we attempted to slipcover, our "entertainment" center set-up, our "borrowed" kitchen tables and chairs from Kegley Hall. For a moment I even wished that I could take a nap in my old bed, which has been my all-time favorite place I've ever slept.
The entire weekend was non-stop fun while we made connections with most of our favorite people from our days attending Milligan. We visited professors, walked about campus, cheered at the parade, watched a soccer game, and ate at some of our favorite places. Saturday night we made the most of the last few hours we would get to spend with our Milligan friends. Tony got to watch the Ohio State Game in Webb Hall with his old roomies, while a bunch of us girls (with the addition of some good-natured spouses) went to dinner at a very nice and unique German restaurant in the not-so-nice or unique downtown Johnson City. Over hearty servings of brats, schnitzel, and goulash, we reminisced about the times we spent together traveling Europe. In the end it was well worth the chilly wait for a table to seat 12 because of good food and great times.I can't imagine my life without the four years I spent at Milligan. So much of who I've become depended upon the things I learned there, the people I met, and their influences upon me. Here's to seeing you all in 2013!