Once a Hoya, Always a Hoya
I can still remember the first day my parents dropped me off at Georgetown University. I can recall the anticipation, anxiety and excitement that I felt. As I drove over the Key Bridge in Washington DC. The view of the college on a hill and the Potomac River in the background. From the moment I stepped onto campus, I felt an immediate connection. I did not know why. Except for the typical college visit and tour, I had not spent much time at Georgetown or Washington DC. I just knew that my life was going to change from that first step onto campus.
Although I was sad to see my parents walk out of my freshman dorm. I knew I would be fine because I felt a sense of security. I was lucky enough to know a few friends from elementary and high school who would be attending with me. So I did not feel like I was alone. Time certainly flew by and graduation day quickly came upon me four years later. On that day I looked around campus and felt a sense of trepidation. I was leaving the place I considered a second home. Georgetown was where I had started my journey into adulthood. I experienced so many wonderful life lessons.
Last summer, I attended my 20th college reunion. The reunion came at the perfect time in my life. I had been engaged in the divorce process. I felt like I was trying to get back on my feet and back to feeling like myself. It was so hard to believe that time could fly by so quickly. As I stepped back onto campus, the flood of memories came rushing back to me. Most were great flashbacks but I also recalled some tough times at school like trying to get a good grade in calculus, typical roommate issues, going through a process of trying to discover the person I wanted to be or develop into, deciding whether to go straight into medical school or take a gap year, and dealing with my insecurities and self-image issues.
Attending My Reunion
However, attending my reunion made me realize why I loved going to Georgetown. It was where I discovered my love of running by the breathtaking monuments and landscape along the Potomac River after gaining the freshman 30 pounds instead of 15. I met my first real boyfriend, had my first real exposure into politics, attended my first presidential inauguration, had my first research job, worked as a coat check girl at 1789 (the famous on campus restaurant), went on my first “grown up” vacation with only my friends, discovered my love for Afro Caribbean and English literature, and learned a new language, Catalan. Met so many people from different cultures, saw how we all could come together in one place, and embrace each other’s differences.
From the moment I stepped back onto campus and saw all the familiar faces of people I had shared wonderful moments with, I felt that sense of security again. I spent time with friends and acquaintances that lived in the same dormitories as I did, shared a meal at the same dining halls, spent late nights cramming for exams, attended religious services at Dalhgren Chapel or attended one of our famous basketball games. No time had passed. Although I had just gone through a rough transition in my life, surrounding myself with these individuals who brought me so much joy at one point in my life made me feel like I was getting back to the foundation of the person I once was and made me feel happy again. As I was dancing the night away at the TOMBS with my friends, the lively spirit of that 18 year-old girl came back to Georgetown that night and a part of her also came back to NYC once the reunion was over.
Going Back to the Hill Top
This past summer, I again went back to Georgetown a year later after my reunion trip to remind myself of the feeling I felt many years ago and at the reunion. This time, I took my family to visit this special place and met my best childhood to share in the experience. It was amazing to have the people I love and adore the most be there with me. I pointed out the places that held such sentimental value.
I could not help but smile from ear to ear, as I spoke about my memories and the people who helped create them. Yes, we all go through difficult periods in life but it is nice to remember the amazing times that help shape us into the people we have become. We ALL have special places in our journey that we can go back to during difficult moments in our lives. For me, Georgetown and Washington DC are two of my happy places.
To all my fellow Hoyas who have been a part of my life and continue to walk into my life, I thank you! Hoya Saxa!