Defender Days: one of the times that we college students are reminded that the majority of the world is not actually college age, believe it or not, that we do have real-live families, and that we all came from a world outside of campus. It’s a time when, for many of us, our two worlds connect: people from home come to our home-away-from-home. Even if we didn’t have a parent that made it out, most of us got to meet some of our friends’ parents and get a better idea of why they are the way they are. We also got to talk to a lot of alumni, and were reminded that school actually ends eventually, and that we were not the first to be crazy busy, to make friends with professors, to be great athletes, or to do crazy shenanigans to The Gift.
This was a weekend with events out the wazoo on campus: volleyball, soccer, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, band, orchestra, and choir concerts, alumni dinners, siblings brunches, class reunions, chapel, praise and worship—you name it, we had it (besides that, campus was looking great and the food was fabulous for all the parents and guests on campus). I don't think I've talked to someone yet who has told me that they, "really got a lot of work done this weekend." Sure, Defender Days was a blast and exciting, but I think we may all be heaving a sigh of relief.
I spent some much needed time with my mom and sister this weekend, and I was sad to see them go—really—I cried as they walked away. But I’m also really happy to see my friends again, the ones I barely saw all weekend, who I realized I couldn’t go without for long.
We’ve all been waiting for this weekend, and now that it’s over, we’re all taking a deep breath. Because often it takes something different—different people, a different schedule—to make us realize that we’ve gotten used to each other. We’re used to the people we see all the time, and even to the people we only see on certain days. We’ve gotten comfortable with the people we go to school with. When all the guests on campus leave, we all kind of look around at each other, smile, think, “Wow, it’s nice to see them again,” and get back to our normal routines. But it’s a little different now, because now we can feel a bond as a campus, a bond that has been steadily but gradually growing all year, so that we didn’t even notice it before.
Defender Days: that whirl of a weekend that catches you up in its excitement and business, makes you proud to be a Defender, and leaves you happy to be with the people you’re with when it’s all over.