My best friend Rory from high school visited me last Tuesday (yes, the wildest weekday of them all). This was a momentous occasion: Having home friends visit is so rare for me because practically all of them live elsewhere in the U.S., mostly on the East Coast.
The visit, which lasted a whole 20 hours, was exhaustingly fun. It also made me think a lot.
You know how most people say that when you go home for break, you “slip back into your old friend group like nothing changed”? That’s kind of what happened last Tuesday. Except that I was still at Stanford, and still got to have fun with Stanford friends, introducing them to Rory and Rory to them. This resulted in a very strange feeling of limbo – I wasn’t entirely back in my hometown with all my old friends, but I wasn’t entirely immersed in Stanford. I was in this weird in-between place where I had a dear, beloved piece of home with me, mixing with dear, beloved pieces of Stanford. This might be why it was draining – I had to juggle both of those realities (home and Stanford) at once.
That said, it was absolutely delightful watching those two realities intermix. It is such a great feeling when your Stanford friends like your home friend and vice versa. It’s weirdly affirming. Like, yes, I have such great taste in friends! They’re both getting along! They legitimately enjoy each other’s company!
The whole day was also draining simply because it was so incredibly fun. I haven’t laughed so much in so concentrated a time as I did that Tuesday. We did things out of the norm for me just because I had a friend visiting. We went to In-N-Out (rare) and we went to Town & Country and got ice cream (rarer). I gave her a tour of the dorm. We caught up, we fell back into our old jokes and old habits and made absolute fools out of ourselves. (Sorry if you heard us legitimately cackling at 6 p.m. from my room because we were just watching Vine videos.) I now also find myself repeating the same jokes that I picked up from her, which ARE now spreading to other people. A little reminder that my friend was here, even for the short time that she was. On a Tuesday. For less than 24 hours.
Contact Matt Bernstein at mbernstein ‘at’ stanford.edu.