I am going to Oneonta in a matter of days. I am excited, nervous, and scared. I'm scared because I know I am sentimental, and I hate time travel. Even though I left Oneonta four months ago, that's enough distance from a place to remember the ups and downs--for my nostalgia to rear its ugly head. On the other hand, I will be reunited with old friends, get to play lots of board games, welcome in the new year with people I love, and finally eat some pad see ew with tofu (it's been too long). I've been thinking about living in the moment, and so in some ways I feel guilty about being excited about going back to Oneonta. Oneonta resembles a life I lived, a place I used to be. The voice in my head that thinks it knows best tells me to move on, grow up, make new memories. Don't be that person. The one that sticks around, the one that gets stuck in time. Kind of like the person that never moves past high school, but in my case never moves past college. I liked school. Sometimes I loved it. More than the late nights writing essays, it was the atmosphere that got me going. I won't pretend everyone at Hartwick is a nerd, but I definitely sensed an air of-- People got excited about ideas. Hold up, Angelica. Don't you teach? Well, sort of. We have discussions in class, and sometimes those are really great. My students usually surprise me at least once a class. But there's a weird dynamic. I moderate the conversation. I no longer raise my hand--I call on kids. Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal. (I'm probably over-thinking things). But as a student, I sort of gushed over things. When the teacher let me speak, I got to add to the conversation. Outside of the classroom, I had peers I could talk to about these ideas we were exploring. We were equals and we could turn things over together. As a teacher, I have to hold back (mostly because the students are supposed to be practicing their English, so me talking wouldn't really help them). Of course, I don't just miss school. I miss my friends. I miss living in a town in which I was pretty much guaranteed to run into someone I knew when I went to the store. I miss the community I left behind. I miss my life. I think the transition between college and whatever's next it totally underrated. And that's saying something, seeing as countless writers have explored the concept. But think about it--you're leaving a part of yourself behind. Some formative shit happened in college. Maybe you learned a lot about yourself (in fact, the only way this didn't happen is if you seriously lack introspection skills). You probably fell in and out of love at some point. You probably did things you never thought you would. You probably proved yourself wrong. Maybe you found your niche, or found out what your niche is not. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE FREAKING HUGE. This is a big deal. I don't know how we expect graduates to move on without a second glance. I'm definitely changing the way I look at it.
YAY TRANSITION. Anyway, I'll post reunion pictures soon. Xoxo.