This weekend was a god-send. I went to visit the University of Virginia with a friend who had recently graduated from there. The experience got me to experience a couple of new things, including a train ride (not the metro) and time spent in a hammock (I’ve always wanted to do that!). It was great, walking around the campus, thinking ‘It could have been me!”. I almost went to UVA. It’s like walking “the path not taken”, years later, wondering how things would have been.
Having gone somewhere else, I had my own frame of reference, things to compare my experience with. Like…
1. how we walked a lot but I didn’t feel it that much, because most of the main campus was flat
2. how weird it felt to hear “grounds” and “first-year, second-year…” instead of “campus” and “freshman, sophomore”
3. The guys actually smiled and held doors open for people
4. how people said ‘thank you’ a lot
5. how girls were always dressed and some guys wore suits to parties. It made me aware of the fact that fashion isn’t completely frivolous. Whatever one puts on is a statement they make, whether it’s a t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up tucked into a skirt with a chanel bag slung over the shoulder or they’re light-colored pants rolled up worn with loafers or it’s a long colorful flowy skirt. It’s just that most of the time, people are too wrapped up into themselves to notice the statement being made
6. and finally, I was impressed/surprised/intrigued at how many people exercised. At any point we were outside, there was someone with running shoes on, ipod earbuds in, passing us. At one point, I was walking with an open box of Ritz crackers and chocolate and someone actually gave me a dirty look as she ran past me. It made me laugh a little because I’d probably do the same thing, if I were in her shoes (pun intended!). If I went there, I would have probably been pressured into adopting a healthier lifestyle, who knows.
This may be the only vacation I get for a while, but it was worth it.