A college campus is a place like no other
Welcome to the college campus. The semester begins. Hallways packed with students and their backpacks, thick textbooks, and three ring binders. A phone too. Always a phone.
Outside in common areas, people walk by each other reconnecting, and connecting anew. Some faces are familiar, others aren’t. And yet, somehow everything seems like it was the last time we were all on campus as students.
Professors look like professors. Some are institutions themselves. The philosophy professor that wears a tie every day. His sleeves always rolled up. His look never-changing. He taught your parents, and no matter what degree your seeking, chances are you might have him for a semester.
The student union is still a place with energy, where everyone walks with an extra pep in their step. The cafeteria is at one end, the game room at another. Music can be heard from all corners. For generations, students have played pool and foosball. They still do.
Basketball players are in the gym even when it’s not practice time. Teams stick together. They eat lunch together, have class together, practice together, are seen downtown together, win and lose together. It’s what makes a team a team. Sticking together.
The dorms, even if they look like fancy apartments, are still dorms. The guys have empty common areas where only a large-screen TV and piled-up pizza boxes can be seen. The girls hang photos on wires and rooms are filled with more pillows than anyone really needs.
Staff members are still those people you go to whenever you needed anything. They can be found in offices, in the cafeteria, walking across campus. They are there when you turn around and need an answer to something quick. Most of them are ladies that have made their careers as advisors, cashiers, front office clerks. They make the place run.
During alumni weekend, middle-aged former students return and talk of memories with phrases like “we had the best time ever” and “the walk to that building was killer, uphill both ways.”
Working at a college campus helps me stay young and reminds me that every semester is a chance for a new beginning. Another class to teach, new students to inspire you and tell you that the future is not about you.
Beginnings are always special but so are endings. Like graduation day. Seeing everyone dressed the same but still looking like themselves. Behind the robes are the people you know as individuals, as future educators, future nurses, welders, engineers.
Every person has a name and a reason for being. A lot of us were them at one point. Excited and nervous. Wondering what the next chapter would bring.
The college campus is a place like no other. A place where people of all backgrounds come together to make friendships, learn from each other, create ideas, and solve problems.
And like no other place, it’s a place of eating, laughing, stressing, crying, overcoming, and achieving. It all happens at the college campus, and I’m lucky to find myself on one every day.
Welcome back students!
More Everyday Observations:
- Making time for extra moments makes a difference
- Try big life things and little life things
- Lessons from a stranger on the importance of names
Abe Villarreal writes about life and culture in America. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.