I’m heading back to the Bay Area after 2.5 weeks in the south, and true to form, I’m tightly scheduled as soon as I arrive. I’m going straight to Santa Clara Unversity, the Jesuit liberal arts school from which I graduated in 2002. I’ve been back only a couple times since, and I was surprised to see that new buildings had sprung up all over campus, and others had been completely renovated. I have to squeeze college into four days, because fall classes end Friday and finals start next week. I’m glad that if I need more time, I can come back the first week of January.
My plans on campus include:
- A three-night stay in a suite with a private bathroom in my sophomore year dorm. I won’t have to wear a robe and rubber sandals to the shower or carry one of those caddies and am not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed.
- Classes in Psychology, Philosophy, and Classics with five of my former professors. Coffee with a Religious Studies professor.
- Visits to my old haunts on and off campus, including the campus dining room, the Mission church, the music practice rooms, the gym, and Mission City Coffee.
As usual, I’m a little anxious about starting a new school phase. I realized yesterday that although I’d coordinated a dorm stay and class visits, I hadn’t asked to follow around any students. I pictured myself eating alone in Benson, the dining room, while tables full of college kids laughed together all around me. I’m hoping that some of the people from my dorm will let me tag along with them. Maybe they’ll even have extra dining points I can mooch off of them since it’s the end of the quarter.
I’m most apprehensive about being reminded of all the time in college that I wish I’d invested differently. Caught in the achievement game, I spent many miserable hours in the study carrels of the Orradre Reading Room while my friends were having fun. I wish I’d joined them more often instead of building a stellar transcript that perhaps one potential employer has looked at since I graduated. Sacrificing so many real-life learning opportunities for book learning is my single biggest regret about school, and I expect that it will be a theme in upcoming posts.
Today I see people and places that I haven’t seen in at least six years. Thank goodness I let my brain rest while I was in Mississippi, because it’s about to fill right up again with observations and memories. I’ll try to post later tonight about the first couple of days here. Wish me luck as I embrace the freedom of college!