Last weekend I was back at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA for alumni weekend. Every year they have a weekend event for all the alumni to come back and see old classmates, see how the college is doing, and donate money back to the institution. Every 5th year they make a bigger deal out our reunion with special events and stuff, and usually have a greater turnout than usual. This was my 5th year reunion, and I knew this was the last time most of our class of 2012 was going to gather in one place (the 10th, 15th, etc. will have some decent turnouts but definitely not as much as this one), so despite my exam coming up within a week, I decided to fly over to California for the weekend. It was totally worth it.
Having been a small school with < 200 people per class, where almost everyone lived in the dorms, we were already a tight-knit community but I still wondered if anything was going to be awkward seeing old friends again or whether we would feel the distance that the last 5 years has put between us. Of course, once I got there I realized that my worries were totally unwarranted. If our college memories were a TV show, somebody had simply pressed the pause button for 5 years, and simply resumed play as if we had never left. Some of us may have lost weight, others may have gained some, some guys grew out their beards, some have rings on their fingers; but overall consensus was that we all look exactly the same as we did back in 2012 in senior year. The only mystery was why the current college seniors on campus looked so young.
I could go on and on about those familiar buildings that contained our college memories, and the new buildings that replaced some of them. However that would take too long and may not do it justice within a single blog post. Five years doesn’t seem like a long time, but really it has been 9 years since we first met as freshmen. Some of the details of the fall semester of 2008 is starting to become fuzzy, but the overwhelming feeling of belonging and the bizarre quirky fun we had from 8AM classes to 6AM all-nighters still remain as clear as if it were yesterday. There has never been and probably never again will be a place like Harvey Mudd for me.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to get together again with about 100 of my classmates (>50% of us) but incredibly sad that we’ll never be together like that ever again. One Saturday was not enough time, but apparently 4 years weren’t enough either. I wish us all great and bright futures, and hope I do a better job keeping in touch with you.