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Graduate Reflects on Return To Alden Street

Greg Cameron

Guest Writer

Let me tell you that the old saying is true.

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. At no other point in your life is that very statement any truer than when you spend four (or in some cases, more) years in college—especially at Springfield College.

Speaking solely for myself, the years I spent on Alden Street were filled with memories that will fill my heart forever. These memories run the gamut of emotions: happy, some sad, but mostly laugh-out-loud-gut-bustingly-funny.

When faced with the challenge of writing this column, my first thoughts raced back to going to Homecomings with my parents. I remember some abstract things like watching my dad’s alma mater, WPI, hit the gridiron and seeing buildings that had some sort of anecdotal connection to some great time that my dad took part in.

I remember seeing my dad light up when he would see an old college buddy of his and seemingly pick things right back up where they left off. Remember, they didn’t have Facebook in the ‘80s and ‘90s, so these sightings were a big deal.

They would reminisce about the hilarity and hijinks that ensued during their time at school and then catch up on where in the world they were now and how their families were at the time.

Now that I’ve graduated from college, I’m beginning to see why my parents look forward to going back to their old stomping grounds. This weekend, I get to do that for the second year in a row, and frankly, you can’t stop my excitement—you can only wish to contain it.

The time in-between Homecoming 2010 and this weekend seems like it has somehow been doubled. The faces that I can’t wait to see are seemingly innumerable.

For this weekend, my friends and I have the opportunity to almost re-live and remember what it was like to be in the shoes that you students currently walk in. To steal a line from Archie and Edith Bunker: (Ask your parents. Wait, maybe better yet, their parents, for who they were.) those were the days.

Why am I telling you this? Well, that’s an easy question to answer.

For some of you, I’m sure the prospect of graduating from college in a climate such as the one we currently live in is a daunting thought to entertain. But, I’m here to tell you that such a thought is eased in large part due to the friendships that you cultivate in your time at SC.

That’s why my parents keep going back to Worcester, and why I’ll keep coming back here every fall. This is a special place that serves as the setting during one of the most special times of your life, and the people you meet sure are special, too.

It is weekends like this where you won’t reminisce about random meals in Cheney, but the nights where that one roommate of yours made breakfast at 3 a.m., or the one where your entire townhouse sought to find out what exactly you could successfully deep-fry.

You won’t quite remember the classes where the papers you had to write completely wracked your brain, but you’ll definitely remember that in-line skating PEAC that you took with one of your close friends, which resulted in twisted ankles, street hockey grudge matches and plenty of laughs.

My point is this: someday, when you’re an alumnus like me, you’re going to miss thisplace. Maybe you won’t miss the buildings so much, but you certainly will miss the memories that you made while in them.

And to be honest, you’ll miss your friends, especially as time goes on and the space and landscape between you and those special people increases.

Regardless of that distance, you will always have Springfield College and the time that you spent there with them. Weekends like this one simply give you an opportunity to make it seem as if the distance between Wilbraham Avenue and the West Coast is merely a stone’s throw away.

Oh, and don’t let the time that passes in the years that you’re away from Alden Street get you down either. I remember seeing alums last fall from the 1950’s and they still come back here.

Think about that, the 1950’s. Eisenhower was president, rock and roll and television were new, and college students from that era still come to a place that they once called home.

It’s like that old Smashing Pumpkins lyric, “time is never time at all.” I honestly believe in that during a weekend such as this one, especially when you’re with your friends and pick things right back up when you left them after walking across that graduation stage.

But don’t be daunted with the fact of missing those times and faces in the years after you graduate. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

In the event that you find yourself yearning for the sight of sunlight glistening off Lake Massasoit, just remember that there’s one weekend in mid-October where that gap between time and geography temporarily closes and you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped out of Doc Brown’s DeLorean and back into college.

Oh, that’s also too dated of a reference? Ask your parents to explain that one, too.

Greg Cameron graduated from Springfield College in 2010.

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