After recently visiting my alma mater for the first time in several years, I think the campus has changed a lot.
Or maybe it’s really me who’s changed, metaphorically tearing down and building up parts of my life and merely changing the appearances of others. If this is really more about myself than the physical campus, then that feeling of absence of people is really… no, never mind. The campus was (almost) empty of people because the summer students went home while the fall semester students didn’t start arriving until the following weekend. It’s not something to analyze to death, either. I paid attention to the new façades because they didn’t match my memories of dorms visited and such. Same for buildings. I focused on buildings because there weren’t people around. (People trump architecture for the writer, no surprise.) Walking around campus was a small part of a day trip.
Still, going back to somewhere you haven’t been in years will make you think. Take stock. Evaluate. It’s probably a good exercise, worth taking a look, whether you find the place or yourself changed or everything still the same. Or both changed. Or whatever. Sometimes in my comfortable routine I don’t pay attention to anything, really, and it can take a physical trip to trigger some self-evaluation. Every assessment won’t produce life-changing revelations, either, but small insights are worthwhile, too. We’re happiest and most productive when we understand ourselves well enough to know what we want and how we work best.