MIT 30 Reunion Weekend Retrospective from 2019

I'm notorious for starting blog posts and letting them wither into the past. I came upon this one, started over two years ago and it seems appropriate to reflect upon it now with all that has changed.


In June, 2019, I attended my MIT 30 year class reunion. Here are my thoughts coming off that visit:

Always appreciate the view given to you at this moment in time. This Boston Skyline always brings back great memories of my 4 years here. I was lucky to have experienced it with lifelong friends. I’m lucky again to be able to come back and enjoy it with t

June 10, 2019

I'm back from a weekend in Boston reconnecting with old friends at my 30th college reunion. In addition to my graduating class, the dorm I lived in all four years held a special reunion spanning all years of alumni. Although I keep in touch with many friends via FB, connecting with friends IRL results in a richer experience (well, duh!). I hadn't seen many of my classmates and (sadly) my really good friends in many years. These lifelong friends helped me navigate those 4 years of college, those 4 years of incredible growth and change. In an era devoid of electronic communication (I remember email being a cool new thing my senior year in college), smart phones and social media, we connected with one another by opening up our dorm room doors, working on problem sets together, and (gasp) talking to one another. We supported one another through the good and the bad, discovered love and heartbreak together and in the process had a really good time.



College ties that bind #friendshipgoals #30yearsgoneby

Good friends re-unite


Sadly, it seems as if that era, one full of freedom and personal discernment has long passed, replaced with regulated barriers, rules and restrictions for the "safety of the student" (and maybe to offset the potential for litigation towards the university). On one hand, I understand the use of such controls, being a parent with college aged students. Conversely, I expect my adult children to act responsibly, and to take into account their own safety and consequences for their actions.


For example - "back in the day" (gosh, I sound like an old geezer), our dorm was left unlocked during the general hours. People entered without having to check in, sign in, swipe in, or whatever. Now the building is locked at all times, and access only given to those who live there. While I understand the need for security, we were lucky to not need those measures due to a community who recognized if a stranger was in the house. I realize the threat of opportunistic characters has increased over the years to where such protocols are required; I'm simply sad they limit access for those without the intent of malice.


The open doors have been replaced with self-closing, spring loaded fire doors, which require a ten pound doorstop to prop open. The open access roof deck is now locked unless there is a University sanctioned and monitored event, to prevent unwanted and unsafe behaviors from occurring. Gone are the epic weekend parties in the basement dining hall, the Friday evening happy hours. Those social events, along with the annual musical, talent shows and ski trips softened the "geek" out of many of us. Maybe hindsight only recalls the fun times and forgets the hardship, but I fondly remember those four years.

Post Graduation

And now, as a fifty something adult, I acknowledge the challenge in making new friends. I also realize that real (not via electronic means) social interaction is key to happiness and longevity.


June 25, 2021

Update Two (!) years later and wow, much has changed in these mere two years - a world now exists that we couldn't have imagined even 18 months ago. In the last 18 months we endured Covid Lockdowns, rabid news outlets serving up grim realities, sensationalized messages of fear, then hope in the form of groundbreaking medicine and a new normal. My sphere of loved ones weathered the storm well - we continue to be healthy, financially stable and connected - both physically and virtually.


My observations from two years ago still ring true - that real social interaction is key to happiness and longevity. But I realize that humans possess the innate ability to adapt - we pivoted to amped up virtual interactions (hello Zoom meetings - we didn't know you existed two years ago) and utilizing technology to remain connected to each other.


Spawned by the Pandemic, one of my MIT friends, Amy, re-connected several of us via weekly Zoom meetings. This has been such a great blessing. A few weeks ago, Amy was in Chicago visiting her mother and family so I drove north to visit her. Another MIT friend, Debbie, will travel here in August with her son, who decided to enroll at the U of I across town. The Pandemic cancelled everyone's plans and as a result, I've had more opportunities to interact with local friends.


Amy and I explore the Chicago Botanical Gardens

Spring Flower Hunting

Rainy day outing with Photog friends

Spring at the Japan House

In the midst of Sakura Blossoms

Blue bell hunting with friends Spring Hike with friends and Blue Bells


As the "new normal" emerges, one thing remains the same - constant change. May we continue to foster meaningful relationships with one another and cherish the friendships / community it brings.



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