Visitors! Who doesn’t love a good visitor when you are away at college? The types of visitor that I like best are Hanover alumni. Not necessarily, the older ones who have established jobs and families — they are great too, but the ones I mean are the recent grads.
At Hanover, my freshman and sophomore year, I was one of those kids who was always with upperclassmen. The ladies that I met those first two years are still people who I consider to be my best friends and some are like sisters.
Freshman year, I didn’t really understand the huge thing with Homecoming. Why were all the sophomores, juniors and seniors so excited? Why was there so much planning involved? And why isn’t there a dance? I was so confused.
Homecoming in high school always meant a football game, then a dance. There wasn’t really discussion about alumni, tailgating or food. I was oblivious to this large event that would be taking place very soon.
My first year, all I did was work a booth at Homecoming and check in the few members of the Hanover graduating class of 2000. (One of them actually worked at my high school.) After working that table my day was done, and I went out that night to the fraternities and was completely overwhelmed with these new youthful faces. Ladies and Gents I had never seen before, but didn’t look much older than anyone else in the junior or senior class.
The next year, my sophomore year, it hit me! I understood why everyone got so excited about Homecoming. After having to say goodbye to several of my senior friends the year before it was a delightful thing to hear that they were coming back to campus. I got it! I knew what the world was talking about! No longer an outsider! I had friends who were Hanover alumni.
Last year, I decided not to work Homecoming because I wanted to participate in the festivities! I wanted to eat the food, go to the game and reunite with my friends! Around noon, I saw my first familiar face that I hadn’t seen about a year. It was Corry Stewart!
Corry is one of those graduates who doesn’t come back often but when he does it’s always a good time. As the day rolled on, more and more recent grads began to arrive on campus. Friday was the day of arrival, but Saturday was the longest day of play.
I got up early and since I am in a sorority, I went to the tailgate lot with my sisters and set up our tent. A few hours later, we headed back out to our tent and saw it was surrounded by about 20 more tents and trucks.
The day rolled on and we were able to mingle and hang out. Students often took their nightly Saturday rounds at the fraternities, but Homecoming night is better than any other night. The energy level was high, there was zero drama and everyone was just happy.
The next day was another day of the sad goodbyes, but a good feeling knowing you made more memories to add to the book. Homecoming is now a time that I understand and cherish. And even though I am off campus, I made the point to buy a plane ticket just for that very weekend. The chance to reminisce about old shenanigans, hang out, and embrace your friends. If you haven’t experienced a Hanover Homecoming, I would have to say you are missing out on a great tradition in the Hanover community.