Anyone who has ever attended the University of Virginia will, upon graduating, spend the rest of their lives looking for any and all excuses to come back to Charlottesville, land of ridiculously delicious dumplings, every variation of women's riding boots known to man, and - just in case you forgot for .01 seconds - the place where Edgar Allen Poe slept for all of half a year. Luckily for all of us wistful Wahoos, it's October, which means Homecoming is right around the corner. After all the arduous months living in the real world, we get to return and relive the glory days of walking around on the most beautiful college campus in America (excuse me, don't they mean "grounds"?) and eating everything in sight.
If you haven't been to a UVA Homecoming before, I highly recommend it. I was initially skeptical of such a cliché tradition, but I went to my first Young Alumni Reunion last year and it was more fun than Christmas. If you attended and are wondering who that girl on the dance floor gettin’ freaky in the blue North Face was last year, that was one hundred percent me, and I’m still not sorry.
The problem is that I just can't help myself. I love UVA. I love Charlottesville. We all do. It's the kind of place that you can't help but love, but also can't quite explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it for themselves. But whenever you encounter someone else who's been there, you won't have to explain anything – once you've called UVA home, no matter how far you away you end up, it will always be your home. Mostly, it has to do with an indescribable, intangible spirit to the place, but if I had to come up with identifiable reasons why UVA grads have more lifelong school love than anyone else, here are a few:
You Will Always Freak Out When You See A White Paper Bag
IS THAT BODO'S?! ... More importantly, did you save any for ME?
You're Still Following @UVAProbs on Twitter
Amen, @UVAProbs. Amen.
You Will Defend President Sullivan With Your Dying Breath
Everybody remembers getting that jarring e-mail in their inbox announcing President Sullivan's forced resignation without any logical reason why. And to this day we still wear our Hoos for Sullivan shirts with pride. Hell, I drove down in the middle of the summer to be a part of the protests to bring her back. They said it wasn't possible, but look at what Wahoos can accomplish when we all stick together.
The Sounds of Construction Still Haunt Your Dreams
"It'll be done any day now, guys." - Someone in 1819, probably.
You Streaked The Lawn THAT ONE TIME
And you'll NEVER stop talking about it. Your children’s children’s children are already tired of this story. GOOD NIGHT, MR. JEFFERSON.
You Have Nowhere Else To Go In That Lilly Pulitzer Dress You Caved In And Bought On Sale
Seriously, where else are you going to wear this in your daily life besides UVA football games and Foxfield? Whoops, guess you're going to have to go back to C-ville. You know, because you don't want to have wasted money on the dress. (And also because duh.)
You Still Have Faith In Your Football Team
You KNOW they've got it in them. You saw what they did to Georgia Tech in 2011. And if you were really lucky (ahem, like me) then you got to rush the field right after. So even though we are all slightly delusional for continuing to believe, I will shout to the heavens: THIS IS OUR YEAR. HOKIES, Y'ALL BETTER WATCH YOUR BACKS.
For Some Reason You Still Sing "The Good Old Song" When You're Drunk
No, nobody scored a touchdown. It's just that LIFE is a touchdown, you know? So yeah. You'll sing it. O'er and o'er, in case anyone was wondering.
Traffic Will Never Faze You Again
Perhaps you have survived sitting in your car on the Corner for an hour. Perhaps you have "creatively" parked a few more times than you're willing to admit. Or perhaps you drove down Emmet that fateful, apocalyptic night in 2013 that Taylor Swift and Tina Fey were both in town. Whatever the case, you will never forget.
You Can't EVER Walk On The Corner Without Seeing Someone You Know
It doesn't matter how long you've been away, or how few people you still know in town, you will inevitably, impossibly, magically somehow always run into at least one person you know when you're walking on the Corner.
You May Or May Not Be On The Wait List For The Chapel
Rumor has it that it takes TEN YEARS to get off the waiting list to get married at the chapel. Which gives you plenty of time to rope someone into marrying you, right? And it's a Charlottesville wedding or bust.
People Are Still Making Fun Of You For Calling Your Campus "Grounds"
"Haha, guys, it didn't even matter to me that much," you said. Except it did. And it still does.
You Have That Friend Who Incessantly Quotes Thomas Jefferson
"The variety of opinions leads to questions. Questions lead to truth."
And here's a truth: DUDE, half of your Facebook updates and tweets are TJ quotes. You know who you are. But none of us mind all that much, because now it feels like we never left.
You Yell "WAHOO-WA!" At Anyone You See Wearing UVA Memorabilia Outside of Charlottesville
Oh, wait, maybe that's just me.
YAR Was Actually Way Cooler Than You Expected
Wait. I can eat as many free pretzels as I want? AND there's Arch's? AND a ton of beer? Game over, universe. Truth bomb: I raged at so hard at YAR I lost a toenail. (Worth it.)
You've Made Fairly Concrete Plans To Retire There
It's never too early to prepare for retirement. Because by then you'll be well off enough to buy your own house in Charlottesville, where of course you'll live with all the same roommates so you can spend your glory years eating cookie dough and watching Netflix the way you did back in college. To quote Elle Woods: "This is gonna be just like senior year, only funner!"