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Once a Bobcat

20131014-203434.jpgThe day that hundreds of Bobcats walked across the makeshift stage in the Convo on the day of graduation was the moment we started counting down to this weekend. Last May lots of Bobcats became alumni and homecoming weekend was what we had to look forward to now. For lots of universities homecoming is all about greek life and the reuniting of brothers and sisters, but Ohio University is different. Everyone comes back for homecoming. Lots of my friends who moved out of state after graduation instantly booked their first vacation to come home to Athens for this magestic weekend. From Boston to San Fransico and Washington D.C. to Chicago friends flew in to make sure they wouldn’t miss it. There isn’t really a way to explain how magical homecoming weekend is and to be able to experience it as an alumni made it so much better. I hadn’t been back to Athens since graduation so by the time I was able to leave work I was all but running for the door to hit the road. Homecoming literally is like Christmas morning and every student and alumni has patiently waited for Santa’s arrival all year long.

The moment I got to Athens my old roommates and I immediately left for the bars to begin our 48 hour of sleep deprivation, endless reminiscing, good friends and cheap drinks. Everywhere I turned I saw someone I knew and every person was just as thrilled to see me as I was to see them. All night out at the bars and one hour of sleep Friday night led to an early morning at the bar and a long day of drinking, bar hopping and friends. There really is no place like Athens on this planet. I’m sure every person argues that their school is the absolute best and they are much better than we are, but Bobcats are caring, friendly, compasstionate, and hard working people. Every one of my friends has worked hard to get where they are today and we take times like this past weekend to revel in that and relax. After a long week in the office it was great to say the usual Bobcat phrase of “work hard, play harder” and that’s exactly what we did.

I’m still sort of surprised I was able to stay up as late as I did and close out the bars to end yet another glorious homecoming, but I was able to take a moment and look back at the four years I spent at this university and be so proud of the place I was educated and who It has made me become. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the years that I spent there. The friends that I made are some of my truest friends I have ever had and will be my lifelong friends and have made such a big impact on my life.  That university is one of the greatest things that has happened to me and I am beyond grateful for it and for the people who have become my good friends. There are so many more things I could say to show how proud I am to have graduated from Ohio University and to be able to spend a weekend back in Athens like homecoming, but nothing sums it up more than I am proud to be a Bobcat.

Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.

Family awkwardness

Family reunions. Possibly one of the more awkward things we have to endure as a family obligation. People all sitting around with their respective families not really talking to the people they sort of know, have heard the occasional bizarre story about, but feel lie you have some need to talk to them since you’re related. The only ones not sensing the awkwardness or the divisions being the children. The kids all play together not knowing any odd stories or the relation they have to one another, but just as someone to play with.

Today we had my maternal grandfather’s family reunion consisting of my grandpas 3 siblings and their family as well as all included kin. My cousins and I sat at our respective table with our parents as did my Grandpas’s sibling’s families. Sort of has the feeling of a cliquey high school lunch room. We all sat around asking who is this, who do they belong to and hearing the latest stories of what everyone has been doing or what mess have they gotten themselves into lately. Naturally, my family is the self-proclaimed “normal” family. The stories of my mom’s cousins an their kids makes our lives seem dull and mundane. Half of them having injuries, divorces, illnesses, and post-divorce, mid-life children with the woman across the neighboring field when their oldest child could be the parent. My family less than interesting in that way. No one has had a child out of wedlock, dropped/failed out of college, crashed a car/plane, divorced…nada.

All of this makes me think though, do the other families sit around and think the same? Do they say those people are just weird thank goodness for my normal family. Regardless of the stories we’ve heard we are family and blood is stronger than any other tie. We all care about each other and each others well being. By the end of the reunion we have integrated families and speak all as one. Complimenting those on the delicious food they may have brought, new babies, and new marriages. The last question on my mind being, if we all had the innocence of a child not caring who the other was and all conversed together would the awkwardness recede?

Family is always there for you, always has your best interest at heart, and may be the most important factor in some people’s lives. I wonder when the awkwardness will set in with my cousins as we all continue to grow and grow apart our lives change, as they should, and will our future kin stare at each other thinking,

I know I know you, but haven’t seen you in years so I’ll just pretend I don’t see you..

Honestly I hope this never sets in and my family ties only grow stronger. My cousins re some of my best friends and I couldn’t possibly think something like this would happen. Now we will see what I saying 20 years from now…