November 10, 2014

Monday Musing - Homecoming

James Taylor's words have never felt more appropriate. 

This week could not go by slower, as Julie and I anxiously await Thursday afternoon when we will finally be headed home to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For us, this homecoming to Chapel Hill feels a little bit sweeter. For the first time, we will reunite with our friends in the beloved town on the hill as alumni of the University of North Carolina.

Six months ago, tomorrow, we turned our tassels, marking the end of our undergraduate careers at Carolina. It is only fitting that we return back to this beloved place for the first time since our bittersweet graduation.

As all Tar Heels will say, going to Carolina leaves a footprint (or heelprint) on your heart that no one except fellow Tar Heels will understand. In only four short years at Carolina, we studied under some of the best professors in the world and gained practical experience that prepared us to excel in this world. We were challenged to seek innovation, discovery and never settle for the status quo. We made friendships, real, strong, can't-be-understood-by-outsiders friendships. The friendships made at 2 a.m., whether from all-nighter study parties or fraternity parties, have roots that not even hundreds of thousands of miles of distance can break. And we fell in love. We fell in love with Carolina. It's southern charm, springtime on the quad, LDOC's, terrible parking, Roy's Boys, Blue Cups and more. Nothing in the world holds a candle to the way we see Chapel Hill.

Now, the Carolina we knew and loved, our Carolina, has changed. There is a new class of first years, about to finish up their first semester. There are new restaurants, new stores and new buildings changing the face of Franklin Street. While some of the stores and restaurants we loved have since closed their doors.

However, for one weekend we get to travel back in time to our Carolina. Friends from New York all the way to Florida, North Carolina to California and all of the states in-between will return for this treasured weekend. Homecoming, while new to us, a Carolina tradition.

There will be football. There will be moments on the quad. There will be Old Well Whites, Blue Cups and a ridiculous cover at Bobs. There will even be basketball. But most of all there will be us, the people, students and alumni, of this great place. Together again. Born, bread, dead.

If you know a Tar Heel that seems a little distracted this week, I believe I'll reference my friend James for that, "and it seems like it goes on like this forever, you must forgive me if I'm up and gone to Carolina in my mind."

Hark the sound, Tar Heels. It's homecoming. 

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