Or, a Homecoming weekend, in many senses of the word.
One of the other grads in my department has been jokingly teasing me about actually going to Homecoming. But I really felt like I was coming back home; my
college was my home for 4 years. I could see that at big schools or those with a consistently-winning football team, Homecoming might be less worthwhile for your average introverted nerd. But at a small school, Homecoming was the time to see my professors. To get a hug from Miser Mom, N, and J, or to sit in a former advisor's office for an hour and tell her about the graduate program that she helped prepare me for.
Additionally, my group of friends have made a tradition out of Homecoming; I spent three years watching my older friends come back to visit and now it's my turn. And I adored spending time with friends this weekend, fellow alums and current students alike. Suddenly I was
back among the people who made my college feel like home. I've enjoyed
getting to know new people in my department and around NYC, but it was
nice to just hang with people who've known me for a while. Some of the conversations were deep and emotional, some were
delightfully geeky, and others were just catching up on life. All valuable for friendship alone, but particularly life-giving because of how much I've missed them in the last months.
I just realized that this weekend was the first time I've been out of
NYC since moving here two and a half months ago. That feels very
strange, and explains part of my (disoriented) relief at being back in
rural(ish) Pennsylvania. Adjusting to NYC was in part an
adjustment to not being on that campus anymore. The location
itself played a role, and the escape from the big city to a more scenic location was definitely a blessing.