My Twenty-Fifth College Reunion

On a sunny August morning in 1985, two station wagons stuffed to the gills left New York and headed down to Bryn Mawr College. My dad and I were in one car; my twin sister and Aunt Peggy were in the other.

ID My Old College ID

I hadn’t planned on going to a women’s college. I had attended an all-girls high school and the very last thing that I wanted was a women’s college. But from the moment that I stepped on the campus, I knew it was the place for me. So, did my twin. And two years later, so did my stepsister.

Twins Hilary and me

This time around my twin and I were heading back for our twenty-fifth college reunion. We took one station wagon, my nine-year old niece, and somehow still managed to overpack. We also found ourselves arguing over who was going to wear what. Some things haven’t changed.

We stayed in one of the dorms. Not one that I had lived in during my three years on campus. (I spent my junior year abroad studying in Strasbourg, France.) I forgot much of what it was like to live in a dorm: the musty smell and worn carpets; the closet-sized rooms (palatial by New York housing standards); the beds hard as rocks; the community bathrooms with the skimpiest of shower curtains; and those wonderful corkboards with welcome notes on the doors.

At the top of my to-do list was a visit to the library and my old carrel in the Romance language room. And like old times, I seemed to have a hard time getting to the library. Instead, I made it to the Cloisters and Thomas Great Hall. In Thomas, there is a statue of Athena. Students leave offerings for Athena, hoping she will help them do well on exams. I had a spare piece of chewing gum on me and I couldn’t help but leave an offering—just in case, she might have some influence over my manuscripts on submission. You never know! 🙂

Cloisters

Cloisters 2

Cloisters

thomas

Thomas Great Hall

AthenaStatue of Athena  

Both my dad and aunt have passed away since our journey down in August 1985.  My dad loved Bryn Mawr. He loved academia. He felt less of an affinity for the tuition bills he paid for the three of us! I recall the morning of Hurricane Gloria he called me to see if I was going to classes. I explained to him that I had a class that morning at Haverford and that the Blue Bus wasn’t running. His response, “You better walk carefully.” Instead of making it to class, I ended up at breakfast in the Campus Center. And guess who else was there? My twin sister.

Going back to the mothership, as one of my classmates described it, felt like going home. We were older, most of us a few pounds heavier, but some things remained the same: our friendships, support for one another, and our love for this amazing institution.

Hil, Me & Sarah

Hilary, me, Sarah Longstaff

I cannot wait till the next reunion. And perhaps down the road, my niece will be joining us for one of her own reunions. Anassa Kata!

class of 1989

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16 comments on “My Twenty-Fifth College Reunion

  1. Robin,
    I loved reading your account of having attended your college reunion. Having attended an all girl’s Catholic high school, I could relate to your experience. So happy that you had such a nice time and hope that some day, we collaborate on a book together.
    Warmly,
    Nancy

    • Nancy, I did Catholic school too! I’ll save that one for another post! 🙂 Would love to work on a book together. Fingers and toes crossed it’ll happen some day. 🙂

  2. This post made me curious about when my 25th anniversary from college will be (in a few years still) How funny about offering gum to Athena. My daughter and I are reading through Homer’s Iliad.

  3. Hi Robin—Awwww thanks so much. I’m actually tearing up a bit. Your post is just lovely-perfect combination of text and images. You know, I felt the same way about attending BMC cause I’d been to a girl’s school too, but in the end it all worked out :))

    • Annina, Thank you! Hoping we’ll make it to one reunion together. What year did you graduate? p.s. I’m attending the NJ SCBWI annual conf. Are you going?

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