My Temple University rally towel is now hanging on the outside of my cubicle, adding to the collection of Temple memorabilia I have on display at work. My face is sunburnt and my voice a little more hoarse after spending Saturday cheering with my two best friends and fellow Owls at my first homecoming game as an alumni.
Mike and I loaded in to the car bright and early Saturday morning in order to enjoy some of the tailgating activities before the game started. I haven’t been to Philly since June, so my excitement was hardly containable as we drove up Broad Street and I saw the sea of cherry and white around us, as students, alumni and parents made their way towards the stadium.
After getting (temporarily) tatted up and fitted out in Temple gear by the girls, I found my parents and walked around Lot K with them, making our way from table to table as my parents gushed about how excited they were to have two Owls in the family. My mom and I got our faces painted together with the “Temple T” before splitting up to find our seats.
For the next few hours, Alex, Lauren and I remembered what it was to be a Temple student. As the different montages aired on the big screen, with pictures from graduation to students both past and present, tears began to sting my eyes. Every fiber of my being ached to be a Temple student again. To go back to the days of being with my “family” – spending our days in PRSSA and PRowl meetings, enjoying crepes on Liacouras Walk, and curling up on Alex’s couch in Temple Towers as we tackled capstone and devoured pounds of pasta.
I think what saddened us the most was knowing things will never really be the same. And to be honest, it still scares me. There are times I feel I have flown the nest too soon and miss the comfort of “knowing everything” and “being known.” At Temple, students looked up to us and respected us. Our professors hailed us. We aced classes and ran organizations with ease. We are now miles away from our comfort zones and the process of making a name for ourselves has started all over again.
While I have no doubt in my mind that each of us will go on to accomplish great things, both personally and professionally, I will always remember where it all began.
We are self made. We are Philly made. We are Temple made.