|Megan Douglas '13 proudly shows off her "home."
By Megan Douglas '13
I began my Saturday morning of Homecoming Weekend with a trip to the Shriver Center to grab some food before the festivities. While my friends rambled on about who was dating whom, I indulged myself in a favorite pastime – people watching.
I saw the usual suspects: student workers scanning IDs, football fanatics comparing jerseys, dedicated scholars hunched over their textbooks and coffee, and a few nomadic sophomores dozing on the comfy couches.
Among all of these was one couple that really caught my attention. Sure, they were decked out in Miami gear and discussing the upcoming afternoon's game against Ohio University, but they hadn't walked to the food court from a dorm, and they weren't paying with their Diplomat meal plan.
I watched as they bought two toasted rolls and made their way to a table. I'd like to think they were talking about what they'd have done on such a day when they were students some 40 years ago. Homecoming was an exciting weekend for everyone in Oxford; but my excitement couldn't compare to that of all the alumni I encountered that day.
After I left Shriver, I began to notice groups of graduates wandering the campus, taking pictures of each other under the Upham Arch, along Slant Walk, and in front of their freshmen dorms, where their initials are probably still carved into the top corner of their old closet.
I also discovered that their memories aren't exclusive to campus. Before the game, I was hanging red crepe paper, white balloons, and bed-sheet signs outside local houses with my sorority sisters. While our goal as students was simply to win an award from the Homecoming committee, families strolled the streets all day enjoying the longstanding, house-decorating tradition.
The restaurants Uptown that Saturday night warmly welcomed these returning Miamians of various decades. I heard countless "remember when" stories and watched as alumni kept clinking their drinks "for old time's sake" at Skipper's.
I figure there has to be a reason Miami has all these enthusiastic and dedicated alumni. I mean, you have to be really passionate about a school to make a point of coming back again and again after graduation, and it's obvious by the looks on their faces how much these visits mean to them. I can tell they still feel like they belong here.
As I watched them, I came to the realization that Miami University is so much more than a school; it's an experience. It's yelling at the top of our lungs at a hockey game, singing along to our favorite song at Mac & Joe's, fighting the crowds for a late-night snack at Bagel & Deli, pulling an all-nighter with classmates at King Library, and sitting in the dorm at 2 a.m. with a circle of friends around a now-empty pizza box, guessing where we'll all end up in five years.
It's hard to imagine where I'll be then, let alone what I'll be doing 10, 20, 30 years from now. What I do know is that this place will always be where I enjoyed some of my best years.
Coming back for a football or hockey game, showing my kids MacCracken and Anderson halls, and buying a toasted roll will definitely be on my to-do list every fall. And on those return visits, it will be my turn to watch the students having the time of their lives while not yet realizing the foundation they're building every day they're here.
President Emeritus Phillip Shriver said, "All roads don't lead to Oxford. To get here, you have to want to get here. But once you're here, you never want to leave." That certainly describes me. Right now, Miami is home. I'm told this feeling never goes away, and that every time I come back it will always feel like home. So, here's to the memories, the best friends, and all that we learn here. But most of all, here's to home.
Megan Douglas '13, a sophomore marketing major from Toledo, is a student intern with Miami's marketing and creative services office, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and Pi Sigma Epsilon Professional Marketing Fraternity, and a student tutor. She hopes to go into market research or branding and to try every bagel at Bagel & Deli in the future.
"One more thing" is a place for you to share your own reminiscences and observations about everyday happenings. Submit essays for consideration to: Donna Boen, Miamian editor, "One more thing," 208 Glos Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056 or email to Miamian@muohio.edu. Please limit yourself to 700 words and include your name, class year, address, and home phone number.