A few months ago, I was watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with my brother, and one of Ben’s quotes really stuck with me. About halfway through the film, he remarks: “It’s a funny thing about coming home. Smells the same. Looks the same. Feels the same. You realize what’s really changed is you. . .”
Walking off campus on March 7, I thought that I was coming back in three weeks. . . nearly everyone did. I had college visits planned and a spring term to look forward to. The pandemic was a world away, and we felt invincible. That was 189 days ago.
Last Saturday, I finally had my homecoming. After quarantining for the last two weeks of summer in Greenwich, my return to Groton happened in an oddly routine fashion, and I entered campus through the same gate that I’d left six months ago. A mask was my only noticeable wardrobe change.
As I strolled onto the Circle for my initial COVID-19 test, I felt at peace. . .and at home, too. Students who had been medically cleared were tossing Frisbees back and forth. Many others were sitting down together, chatting through masks, and several more were walking around the grounds, just enjoying the breeze.
When I received my own “green dot” this morning, which signifies that one has registered a negative test, I joined them. Feeling the sun again was AWESOME, and the grass had only grown greener since the spring time. I probably spent 5 or 6 hours outside.
Today, classes began at last. Having the chance to finally attend in person is huge, and it’s something we’re all ecstatic about. Senior year. Wow. For so long, I’ve looked forward to this milestone, and while my excitement hasn’t ceased, it simply feels unreal. I can’t believe that we’re back, and I can’t believe that we ever left. What a time to be in high school.
So, I have to run to bed now, but I just watched the Dallas Stars beat the Vegas Golden Knights, so that might be a bit of a challenge for me; I’m pumped up for my team, and I might have to wear my jersey to class. . .I guess it will be a game-time decision.
In the meantime, all I will say is this: The return to campus just keeps getting better and better, and after months away from Groton, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back.