University of Delaware has something we call Alumni Weekend, where hordes of former Blue Hens come back and visit campus to relive their past, including and up to staying in the dorms.
I wound up spending a nice afternoon with a couple that I knew in passing at UD, Johanna and Chris. Johanna was an R.A. with my friend Stephen, and we wound up connecting at his memorial two years ago. Jo and Chris live in Queens, and had ridden the bus down here. This was their first time at Alumni Weekend. (They were class of 2009, a year ahead of me.)
I met them at a gaming store. We hit Duck Donuts, then sampled beer at Growler's, and then made a trek over to the shuttered Dickinson Hall, where she and Steve were R.A.'s at. Along the way, we talked about our lives- where we've been, where we want to go, and all the angst in between. Jo also has the angst of getting a master's degree and realizing that she can't use it. (She's switched over to education- I believe she was originally trying to do media.) Chris is an urban planner, which is something I've been interested in. And we're all in a shitload of student loan debt, which Jo is about to add more to as she's going back to school for an education degree.
I also talked to them about all the changes in Newark, which have been pretty numerous as building after building gets knocked down in order to create yet more student housing apartments with retail (that often goes unused) on the first floor
When we got to Dickinson Hall, I told them about how I used to process my grieving process by standing outside this dorm, and just remembering. Then we all just talked about the memories we had of this place. Pretty crazy to think of all of the thousands and thousands of people that lived in that complex for over 40 years. All these stories that we'll never know took place within those walls, and the whole thing is going to be gone soon. Depressing, but that place gave me some great memories, even though I never lived there.
Then we walked over to Elkton Rd. (or South Main Street), then went up Amstel, then cut through the Ewing Kirkbride Complex to get back to Main Street. We sat down on the brick borders surrounding Kirkbride to share our memories of the Kirkbride Jesus Guy, a c
I wound up having dinner at Homegrown with them and another couple...it was nice. Seriously nice. I love my buddies at work, but I really, really needed conversation with people my own age who understand my Millennial angst bullshit.
We part ways after a second trip to Duck Donuts, and I felt really good.
There's some really dumb shit going on in my life (the worry about bills, the worry about my future, my lack of a car of my own), but it was nice to remember that excited young college kid that I once was, and how much fun that period in my life brought me. Not to say that there wasn't plenty of angst to go around during my early 20's, but there was so much to experience then.
It also just felt nice to talk to people that *get* what it's like to have gone through college and then ended up in a menial job, and struggling with the thought of going back to school to try and get a more marketable degree. Not to mention being able to talk about my grieving of Stephen, because as I've said, all of my mutual friends with him left the area, and I didn't really get to be around his memorial two years ago.
Anyway, it was a nice day and made me happy.