Though the main reason I went back to West Lafayette this weekend was to take part in an early Thanksgiving dinner with friends, I took advantage of the several hours I had to myself. I wandered the Horticulture Park, which was enlivened with reds and yellows and greens. My feet lead me to campus next, where I patrolled my old haunts before cruising through "downtown."
Unlike my last visit to Purdue, I didn't feel old (until my friends teased me for being 23 and "half in the grave"). Silly underclassmen.
No; instead of feeling old and reminiscent, I felt at home. Everything was familiar; the one-way streets, the beeping of the electronic crosswalks. A handful of students crossed the Memorial Mall, making their way toward coffee houses and libraries to divulge in last-minute, weekend studying. The wind stung my face, pushed dirt into my eyes and ears and clouded my senses. So familiar and yet so far away.
My time there is no more; for, if I do decide to attend graduate school, the path I wish to choose is not available at Purdue. For now, though, my friends give me reason to go back; I think my familiarity with campus, with people, with West Lafayette, with the university and faces upon faces of thousands of students will dissipate once my friends leave.
Then it will be strange.