Gunning It went back to where it all started for the Gunn clan.. St. Joseph's University (SJU) in Philadelphia. This is where Margie and I met, fell in love and started talking about some of the crazy ideas of what we'd do when we were married and had children. There is something special about reconnecting with a place where you experienced so much in such a short period of time. College is a coming of age time for many people and it was that for Margie and I as well. When you come of age and meet the love of your life somewhere, it takes on extra special significance. St. Joe's meant so much to us and re-immersing ourselves on campus brought back a flood of memories and emotions. Anticipation, anxiety, independence, new friends, old friends in new places, confidence, (some) wisdom, experiences that become legend, maturity... and for us, love. All of the memories, all of the emotions come rushing back. They rush past you the way lights whiz past on a highway camera showing cars speeding by on super fast forward. You feel it all...all over again. In the age of social networking where reunions have gone the way of the compact disc, there is still something special about an alumni reunion. Reunions aren't only about seeing how things worked out for the person in Freshman year, who got fat/skinny or re-connecting with friends that you've lost contact with. Reunions are about replaying life experiences and remembering...it's about feeling those emotions that you had.
When you get to experience that re-connection with your children, it makes it even more special. Nick and Anna got to see my Freshman dorm, the buildings where we had classes and met “The Hawk”. They learned that “The Hawk will never Die”...they loved the games and the ice cream of course but it's the experience of seeing where it all started for their parents that will stay with them. Nick has been fixated on strategy recently so he asked his obligatory strategy question.. “Dad, what was your best strategy in college?” I thought about it for a moment and told him that by far my best strategy was that at the beginning of every new class, I'd wait until just a couple of minutes before class was starting, find the prettiest girl and sit next to her. He asked why it was my best strategy and I told him that in my junior year, I sat next to his Mommy in our writing class, struck up a conversation and before I knew it he and Anna were born. His face lit up with a huge smile. He's repeated the story to Margie and me a couple of times already. Those are the moments that can't be produced by reconnecting with someone on Facebook. They can only be experienced in person, in the moment with people that you love and care about. They are the moments that stick with you and resurface when you hear a great song, when you close your eyes, when you face a serious illness. They are the moments that make your life truly authentic.
I'm not sure what kind of experiences a trip back to your college or high school campus will spark but I know it will be lasting and I know it will be authentic. I also know that taking your children back to a school campus where you experienced so much will spark conversations and create experiences that leave an indelible impression on their memories...and yours.
Gunning It is always looking for our followers to share their experiences...we'd love to hear if have you taken your children back to your school's campus or meeting place?