I spent last Saturday morning manning an archival table for alumni weekend, and found myself greeted with premature nostalgia, if there is such a thing. First, a group of ’08 alums bounced in for their five-year reunion, looking at old diaries and laughing about how long the sponsor program had been around. One talked to me about collecting Pomona memorabilia from Ebay. Another reminisced about his old on-campus job. Next, a 1950 graduate moved in, slowly perusing the scrapbooks. He told me he was looking for mention of a family member. And all the while I sat wondering what if must be like to arrive at Pomona again, to see my friends as older, now-productive men and women (not that they’re not productive now [sometimes, especially the week before finals, I question my own productivity.]) I wonder what it’s like to feel as if the campus has changed, perhaps seeming somehow smaller, or sunnier, or just different.
When I return to my high school to visit my old teachers, I suppose I do experience some level of nostalgia, but I know Pomona will be different. After all, I feel as though I endured high school (despite be fairly happy) whereas I’m excited for what I learn at Pomona and love to be here and have grown here and feel as though I’m a part of a happy, wonderful community. And while leaving a place where you’ve dwelled for four-years is strangely sad, it is both heart-wrenching and bizarre to leave a four-year love affair.
I’m sure alumni weekend welcomes reflection and questions of what could have been and memories and food and double takes and former classmates and reunions. With the thought of leaving next year looming in my mind, I almost dread this happening, as reunions must be preceded by goodbyes and departure. However, the bright side of finals week, if there is one, is that it softens this impending doom, and leaving for the summer is at least a little bit welcome.