Just like that, the dream is over.
I spent about two months anticipating my first UA Homecoming, and now I only have the next one to look forward to.
Just like I predicted, there were some intense accidental run-ins and awesome catch-up sessions on this trip. I feel my vacation was a success because I saw 98% of the friends I promised to visit, even though I only hung out with some of these people for just a few minutes. It’s better than nothing, and it’s more than most will do.
As made obvious to some of my friends, I was slightly anxious at the start of my trip about not being able to get together with everyone I hoped to see. But, to my luck, everything came together, and I’d like to go ahead and say it’s because of my epic planning/scheduling skills. What can I say, I’m actually pretty efficient when it comes to organizing social events.
I dedicated early Thursday night to Dyanna, Johnny, Kendra, Kyle, and John. Later that evening, I caught up with Welby, Lishko, and Rico, all of whom I’ve known since my freshman year of college. They were in the Kappa Alpha fraternity, which I frequented far too often until junior year of college. We talked at the Auld Dubliner for a while, and then I headed back to Kendra’s humble abode.
On Saturday morning, I had coffee with Anna, one of my former Daily Wildcat co-workers. We chatted for two hours and I realized how much I missed our conversations. Thankfully, she’s probably going to intern in D.C. this upcoming summer, so we’ll probably roam the district together.
At 2 p.m., I went to Chipotle with Erica, Kendra, and the infamous Angela, with whom I became bff’s this past summer while we visited the south of France. I loved talking to the girls about their class schedules as well as our own memories. It was quite lovely.
Then, at 5, I had an epic reunion with Luke and Jazmine, my favorite Daily Wildcat co-workers. Even though I met them during my last semester of college, I do not hesitate to classify them as some of my greatest friends of all time. Thankfully, our dynamic has not changed one bit. Coincidentally, we were all sort of dressed similarly, but it’s really not all that unusual. We all have the same brain. Jazmine and Luke are essentially the same person, and I spent lots of time last year telling Luke that he is the male version of me, only he has better luck with relationships and is better at picking romantic partners. Maybe we can all learn from him.
Anyway, it truly brightened my month to reconnect with these two again. I love their spirit, energy, work ethic, and personalities. I honestly feel like my college experience would have been dull without them. I will continue to adore them from afar, and it’s my hope that they never forget about me!
On Friday night, I went bar hopping with John and Johnny, and we bumped into several buddies at Gentle Ben’s and the Auld Dubliner. The boys were gentlemanly enough to buy all my drinks for me, but, like a responsible adult, I didn’t imbibe very much at all. I’m a tiny person now, and I don’t have the stomach nor stamina that I did back in college.
Saturday was awesome, and I started off the day with an early lunch on University Boulevard. I ate at Paradise Bakery with Carolyn, my best friend since freshman year. We met during the first week of college in the dorms. Because we were the only non-sorority girls in Coronado Hall, we banded together and haven’t parted ways since. I miss Carolyn all the time, and even though we have changed considerably over the years, I know we will always be best friends. Nothing is going to alter that.
After a quick trip to the UA Bookstore, Kendra and I wandered the UA Mall to begin tailgating. We met up with Angela, Erica, Welby, Lishko, Matt Velez, and Greenberg. I stumbled upon several other friends, so that was also nice. More than anything, I was beyond thrilled to be with my greatest college buddies once again.
I concluded my vacation at Gentle Ben’s bar, and I hung out with Erik, Matt, and Jessica. I’ve known Erik and Matt since the dorm days, and I can truly say that they’re my closest male friends at the UA. It was wonderful hanging out with them again, and they really were the perfect people to round out my trip. Erik reminded me to stay away from disrespectful douchebags, and Matt and I swing danced and serenaded “Poker Face” to each other. I sang along with lots of people this weekend, and I wish I could do that more often in DC. Too bad easterners never want to sing in bars!
I couldn’t ask for greater friends, all of whom have made me a better person in some way. The best part of this entire trip was that absolutely nothing has changed among me and my friends. It’s as if we never left each other.
Homecoming was fulfilling and completely worthwhile, but now it’s time to move on and continue with my D.C. routine. There will always be a special place in my heart for the desert, Arizona Wildcats, Kappa Alpha fraternity, Daily Wildcat, and student population. I’m so proud to have graduated from this institution, and it’s my hope that I can visit at least twice a year from now on.