|My spot at the old WC|
I went back to Kearney yesterday to speak on behalf of UNK alumni who have traveled abroad. A fitting role for me, the former Cambodian/Austrian/Thai Adventure Lady. I chatted with nervous freshmen, eager sophomores and excited juniors about studying abroad. Did I encourage them to take the plunge? Of course. Did I quell any travel anxieties? With my jittery enthusiasm, probably not. Do your research, I said, Don't worry too much about the language barrier and pack light.
The guest speaking engagement was my excuse to come back, but I hung around the rest of the day to catch up with old friends. I'll never forget my Writing Center friends, nor our beloved Game Nights. Now that we are a year older, our conversations focus on life after UNK--the cursed GRE, the graduate school applications, and the success of long-term relationships. Add a little wine and coffee to the conversation and we were a mess of games, gossip and giggles.
Most of my closest friends have left Kearney to be employed in other cities and states. A few remain, and I was happy to reconnect over chai tea, or better yet, cold beers and San Pedro. The best part of college is the companionship of friends with common interests; friends who know your insecurities and your mistakes, but enjoy hanging out with you regardless.
Although the trip made me long for the life I left behind, the encouragement from my old friends excited me for the new friends to come.Today, my face is sore from all the smiles and laughs--something to be thankful for.
I'll never forget Kearney because of the close friendships that continue to evolve as time demands.
...and because of Barista's--definitely won't forget that, either!