Ok. I am now admitting that my 20 year college reunion is going to occur next weekend. I have not been back to visit since the homecoming the year after I graduated. (If you’re doing the math, that was 1988.) I haven’t kept in touch with many college friends. And, I only communicate very occasionally with the ones I have kept up with.
Nonetheless, when I think about my college years, I have fond memories. I was so happy to be in a Christian environment after going to public high school and wanting so much to be around believers on a more regular basis. My college was rigorous enough academically to keep pretty much anyone on their toes. I squeaked out with an acceptable average. I did pretty well in the coursework for my major, and I had what college admission people would describe as a “well-rounded” college experience.
I worked on the college newspaper, the college yearbook, served as an RA for 3 years, went on a short-term mission trip, worked on the coffee house ministry team. I had 2 really good public relations internships–one for the Pennsylvania State Historical Commission and the other for the Tri-County United Way. Overall, I was busy but happy.
My sophomore year, my father passed away very close to the end of the spring semester. I was so thankful for all the kindness and Christian love expressed to me at that time. It made a difficult situation much easier to bear.
When I read my college’s alumni magazine, I always come away feeling “a little less.” You know, like I haven’t accomplished very much. It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed, and I am not really doing any of the stuff I thought I would be by now.
I am still almost always worried about money. I am still struggling with my weight–even more so in the last 3 1/2 years than before. I am not a corporate PR or publishing exec.
But then I have to think about what is really important. I have been happily married for nearly 16 of the last 20 years. I have 4 beautiful children. God has always met our basic needs as a family + some.
When the college writes up stories about alumni, they generally don’t highlight mothers of small children for their accomplishments. They also don’t mention all the things that the alumni they are featuring don’t have. It is good for me to remember that stuff.
I won’t be attending the reunion next week. It is a little too distant, both geographically and emotionally. I think I would leave feeling a little empty, which can’t be good for me in any way I can conceive.
Despite that, I am thankful for my college experience. Even though my college is what many of my current friends would consider liberal, both theologically and politically, it was a great place for me to grow and test the waters of life.
Tonight I was looking through old photographs to find one to send to one of the reunion coordinators. It was fun to show them to Evangeline. The picture at the top is (obviously) on graduation day. How young and fresh we look! It’s really amazing to me that I have been out of college now nearly as long as I had been alive then.
It has been good to reminisce. It reminded me of God’s faithfulness to me these many years. I am indeed blessed!