It’s March 23, 2023. I wake up at 6am on the dot and am immediately overcome with fear and shock. What the heck!! I’m 31 years old! The feeling is an unsettling one. What have I done with my life so far? Well, here’s the list of highlights:
1. Have more than one career and have them be completely different
2. Change one person’s life forever
3. Tour the White House
4. Own and run a business
5. Marry a beautiful goddess of a woman
6. Complete P90X
7. Milk a cow…
Yes, I have even gotten around to milking a cow, that mystical activity that had somehow eluded me the first 21 years of my life. The fact that such an activity is on my “list of highlights” is unsettling. However, now is not the time to dwell on my failures in life thus far. The reason I am up at 6 am on a Saturday morning is that I am returning to Bucknell for House Party! I haven’t been back to my alma mater in five years so I am excited to say the least. My plan is to meet a few buddies from school there and hit up our fraternity parties during the day. Before I launch into my day at Bucknell, let me describe my relationship with my buddies from college. Though I don’t see most of my old friends as often as I’d like, when we do get together, the connections still feel strong. A lot of us stay in touch by blog, Facebook, or e-mail. Our ties are tight. Of course, each year seems like we lose a little of our bond. More of us are settling down and getting married. This feeling of losing touch is actually why we are converging in Lewisburg this weekend. Just last week, we decided to make this a yearly thing where we would visit Bucknell for House Party.
The drive from my Greenwich, Connecticut mega-mansion takes me about three-and-a-half hours. The drive is made quicker by my ride: the $3.9 million Lamborghini Veneno (yeah, only three of these exist in the world). I get into Lewisburg around 10 am. As none of my friends have arrived yet, I park my car and take a walk around campus. Boy, has this place changed since I went here. New buildings are downtown and behind Bertrand. It’s quite shocking. And yet, despite some of the physical changes, the 2023 Bucknell still FEELS like the 2013 Bucknell. My walk brings back vivid memories. Walking across the quad. Tennis practice behind the fieldhouse. Moving into Smith Hall freshmen year. It’s all coming back.
I meet up with my college buddies for lunch and we reminisce about old times at the Bull Run. It’s awesome to catch up with them. All of us are successful, but more importantly, we are happy. After a burger and a few rounds of beers, we head downtown to check out the Super Saturday party scene. We visit the house known as Yellowwood, which has been our fraternity’s party house since before we were undergrads. Incredibly, it has stayed standing upright and with the fraternity after all these years. We are ushered into the side yard after explaining we are alumni of the fraternity and are then brought to the front of the line at the keg. After chugging a couple beers, we take in the scene around us. I feel like I am back at school ten years ago. Everyone is listening to a live country music band playing on the front porch. Hundreds of students are dancing in the deep puddles of mud. Everyone is having a blast. There is not a problem in the world at the moment. Nothing has changed from ten years ago. As I look around, I am overwhelmed with a sense of satisfaction. I could not be happier. My professional life is going well. So is my personal life. But, at the same level, I am happy because I am at the place where I had the best times of my life. Of course, there are new buildings, professors, and students. But the overall sense of being in a close-knit community is the same.
It is at this moment that I realize the college experience I received at Bucknell DEFINITELY trumps the education I received. I feel like reaching out to each of these college kids at the party and telling them that they need to take advantage of everything Bucknell has to offer, and that you never get these years back, and that they’re pretty formative years, and that they need to make the best of them, and that they need to do this, that, and the other thing. Of course, I don’t tell any of them that; they will figure this out all on their own. That’s what college is for. So instead, I fill up my plastic cup with warm Natty beer, chug with my best friends in life, and sing-a-long to our favorite country music songs. Just like we did ten years ago.