Welcome to the college campus. The semester begins. Hallways packed with students and their backpacks, thick textbooks, and three-ring binders. A phone too. Always a phone.
Outside in common areas, people walk by each other reconnecting, and connecting anew. Some faces are familiar, others aren’t. And yet, somehow everything seems like it was the last time we were all on campus as students.
Professors look like professors. Some are institutions themselves. The philosophy professor that wears a tie every day. His sleeves always rolled up. His look never-changing. He taught your parents, and no matter what degree you are seeking, chances are you might have him for a semester.
The student union is still a place with energy, where everyone walks with an extra pep in their step. The cafeteria is at one end, the game room at another. Music can be heard from all corners. For generations, students have played pool and foosball. They still do.
Basketball players are in the gym even when it’s not practice time. Teams stick together. They eat lunch together, have class together, practice together, are seen downtown together, win and lose together. It’s what makes a team a team. Sticking together.
The dorms, even if they look like fancy apartments, are still dorms. The guys have empty common areas where only a large screen TV and piled up pizza boxes can be seen. The girls hang photos on wires and rooms are filled with more pillows than anyone really needs.
Staff members are still those people you remember that you went to whenever you needed anything. They can be found in offices, in the cafeteria, walking across campus. They are there when you turn around and need an answer to something quick. Most of them are ladies that have made their careers as advisors, cashiers, front office clerks. They make the place run.
During alumni weekend, middle-aged former students return and talk of memories with phrases like “we had the best time ever” and “the walk to that building was killer, uphill both ways.”