My 5 year college reunion was this weekend and I am not over it.
Welcome back to Wesleyan!
|Ella Dawson||May 28, 2019||3|
Hi friends. I am very emotionally hungover from going back to Wesleyan for my five-year reunion this weekend. Lucky for me, my train on MetroNorth lost power and we were stranded for roughly an hour, so I had plenty of time to get some of those feelings down on Word. The short version is that I still love this school so goddamn much. The long version is now live on my blog: Five Years Later, Wesleyan Is Still The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made.
Here’s a snippet:
I’m self-conscious about how much I miss Wesleyan. Am I some feminist Van Wilder reboot, a leftist with big dreams and a hefty case of arrested development? I miss the lack of responsibility, the meal plan, the afternoons I slept until 4pm because I’d been out until 6am with the next great love of my life, or at least of the night. But it’s more than that. I miss the unapologetic, fierce idealism of Wesleyan’s student body. I miss the sheer determination to fix everything, to burn down systems, to take to the streets, to make protest zines and write term papers about sex work and challenge each other to do better, be better, live better, love better. Wesleyan breeds truth-tellers and whistleblowers, rabble-rousers and cultural menaces. It’s where I learned my values and tested my voice over the airwaves of WESU and on the pages of student publications. I learned that education is a privilege, and you have to pay it forward by fighting to make the world more just. The good fight is our responsibility, and Wesleyan graduates all claim a corner of oppression and go about chipping at it for the rest of our lives. That’s the story, at least. I still believe it.
I’ll be writing about that reunion for years, and it’s given me a new framework for approaching my memoir. I go back to Wesleyan all the time, but being on campus with my class for Reunion and Commencement was the real thing again, masses of friends on Foss Hill and that powerful electricity of being out at night and looking for the place to be. I stayed up until 5am on Friday and Saturday, party-hopping and watching the sky get lighter with genuinely lovely bros I thought I’d lost as friends. I feel closer to myself, not because I got to relive my glory days but because it reminded me what my values are and why I do the work that I do. This is what Wesleyan taught me to do.
Thank you for reading, for saying hi, for sharing my work and for telling me I’m on the right track. All my love,