The summer before my freshman year, I received a yellow GW towel at CI.
I find myself feeling sentimental as I unpack that very same towel junior year. Though it now has an unidentified stain with a mysterious origin I hope to never solve, the towel remains a token of a university I have grown to love and a place I call home.
That is not to say I was unhappy to return home this summer. I would hate to come across as someone who prides himself on having escaped the haunted past that is upper-middle class suburban childhood. But I cannot deny that since the end of last semester, I’ve missed my life at GW and all the experiences that make it so unique.
I’ve missed doing my food shopping in Whole Foods with all its organic pasta salads and pretentious croissants. I would sometimes browse through the aisles of my hometown’s ShopRite when I felt nostalgic, but it just isn’t the same without having to constantly avoid making eye contact with all my past hookups.
I’ve missed political humor. My home friends try to make me laugh with movie quotes and offbeat stories, but that just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I’m sorry, but I don’t see how a joke can be funny without name-dropping at least one political figure and sneaking in a subtle jab at Fox News.
I’ve missed cockroaches. We just don’t have those at home.
I’ve missed diversity. North Jersey, south Jersey, central Jersey – it’s amazing how much culture you can pick up when your friends are from all different exits along the Turnpike.
I’ve missed FoBoGro and the way its sandwiches seem to be getting progressively smaller. But its salads are still pretty hefty, so they should probably consider downsizing.
I’ve missed waking up to the sound of construction. After all, you know what they say: Jackhammers are the roosters of the 21st century.
I’ve missed school spirit. Nothing gets my blood flowing like hearing the GW Fight Song echo from the Smith Center’s crowded stands… How does it go again?
I’ve missed the thrill of snagging an empty study room in Gelman Library only to be kicked out five minutes later by someone who claims to have “reserved it online.” The only thing that makes this frequent occurrence more enjoyable is how people pretend to feel guilty about kicking me out. We both know I’m an ungrateful freeloader who doesn’t deserve their pity.
I’ve missed the high achievers I meet in class. Oh, you spent your summer building houses in Uganda? I spent my summer making money. Which I intend to keep. For myself.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, I think I might just be living proof. And though I’ve hardly been back for much time at all, I am anxious to create new memories.