Generally speaking, I’m a pretty nostalgic person. If I’m around the neighborhood I grew up in or go somewhere I haven’t been in awhile, I immediately start thinking about old times; good or bad. It’s not always nice to think of the bad times, but everything shaped who I am now, so I try to not let it upset me too much.
Thanks to Timehop, I’ve been reliving my college graduation the past few days. The day I took my last undergrad final; packing up my room, even being excited that my then-significant other was coming up for graduation (which I roll my eyes at myself for now…we don’t talk about him…..he was annoying). But, 8 years ago today, Devon and I graduated from college. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.
Technically, Devon should have graduated the year before. But he decided to change his major a bit way through college and it required him to stay for another year. He was originally a math major (yuck) and changed to Biology (also yuck). He would have never been able to finish all the classes required of him in the order he had to with the time he had left, so he tacked on another year.
At the end of the day, I didn’t mind. My senior year would have likely been extremely boring without him around. We also might not have gotten as close without that extra year in there.
Frostburg State University had two graduation ceremonies because there were too many students to have one. There was the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Education. Devon and I were in the first ceremony. It was so ridiculously hot that day (despite the fact that it’d been nearly freezing a week earlier) so wearing black caps and gowns was torturous.
There was one moment of graduation, I will never forget no matter what I do.
I was processing to the stage to get my diploma and Devon was in the second row of graduates (his last name is significantly earlier in the alphabet than mine). When the announcer said my name, I started to walk onstage and all of the sudden I hear a loud Ric Flair-like “WOOOOOOOOOOO” in the front part of the audience (if you don’t know Ric Flair, you can google “Ric Flair Wooooo” and you’ll hear it). And it was SO LOUD, I almost lost my footing and tripped on the stage. I mean, granted, I was laughing when it happened, but still.
And there had to be a couple thousand people there and he was so loud, I could hear him over everything else. Worst part is, he kept saying he was going to do that when I walked across stage, but I didn’t believe him. Trust and believe, I believed him every time after that when he claimed he was going to do something.
The crazier part is that I did not get a picture with Devon that day (maybe because the ex was around, I dunno). I have pictures of him with our other friends and me with other people, but nothing together. He still looks almost exactly the same though, which seems weird to me. I mean, he has more gray hair these days, but his face still looks the same.
But, I remember hugging him goodbye that day. We both did the whole “we’ll keep in touch” thing, but we both also knew we were both typically really bad at doing that. Strangely enough, we were actually pretty good at it, where the other person was concerned. I even lived about an hour away for awhile after graduation, yet we still talked regularly and hung out when we could. Weird, huh?
I’ve been back to visit Frostburg a few times since graduation. Devon and I went up for the weekend almost two years ago now. He has a bit of a nostalgic streak in him, too. So we walked around campus. went into our old familiar buildings and checked out the new upgrades they’ve done since we left.
There was a place where we all (our little group) liked to go behind the library. It was a huge balcony area with a few benches and had a great view of the mountains. We all liked to hang out there sometimes, especially when it was nice outside. Devon also had a tendency to go there when he needed to think or to be alone for awhile (I found him there a couple of times when we in college; usually if he disappeared, I knew that was where he was). When Devon and I visited, we went back to that balcony for awhile and just sat there; kind of like old times.
I always think of Frostburg as a special place. College is usually one of those places where you kind of figure yourself out and who you are and all of that. And I did some of that, though, I feel like I did more once I was out of college. But, I just have so many memories there. Again, there are a few that aren’t pretty to remember (like way too much drama in my sophomore year), but there was a lot of good there, too. I met a lot of people I still talk to and call friends, even 8 years later and even though some of us don’t live in the same state anymore. I mean, one of my eventual bridesmaids is a good friend of mine from Frostburg. And, I would have never met Devon if I hadn’t gone there (despite the fact that we’d spent our whole lives living 30 minutes away from each other and going to a lot of mutual places).
Seeing all the graduation pictures just reminds me of how much I’ll always love that place and how much it’s given me outside of an education. And I love seeing that some of my students are going there. I tell them stories of when I was there and how much I love/loved it there. I just hope that they can be as happy there as I was and that Frostburg helps to change their life, the way it changed mine.