Yesterday, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a girl who lived in the same dorm as me during my freshman year at Rutgers. We were never great friends, but knew each other and had plenty of mutual friends from the dorm. But following graduation back in 2012, we hadn’t talked at all until she messaged me a couple of months ago saying that she was going to be interviewing in Pittsburgh and did I have any suggestions of things for her to see while she was here. Of course I helped by providing a list of some quintessential Pittsburgh places that I’ve come to love since moving here (the Incline, the Strip District, Handmade Arcade, and the Carnegie Museums among them). But then, as this weekend approached and I knew she was going to be in town, I decided to see if she wanted me to give her a tour of the city. As someone who has been involved in giving city tours to grad school applicants for the past 2 years, I like to think I have a good sense of what to point out throughout the city. But I had more selfish reasons, too.
It’s really nice to see a familiar face from home while I’m living out here. I love Pittsburgh, and I have friends here, but there’s something about connecting with someone from home that’s just different. It’s a reminder that you come from somewhere and there’s a past you have that can often be forgotten in the midst of everything going on right now. And even when that someone is basically just an acquaintance, it was still someone with whom I could talk about home, New Jersey, and Rutgers with, and actually be understood on the level of someone who’s experienced all the same things. As someone who constantly feels like I am living in the future and trying to move forward, forward, forward, days like yesterday are a refreshing change of pace- a nice mix of past and present.