You know that feeling when you get home after a long time away? Your favorite spots are just as you remembered them, all the good memories come rushing back, and you're feeling at once connected to your past but just as excited for your future because you're home, and everything just feels right.
Tonight, we arrived at Duke. And I came back home.
My first stop was one of my favorite spots on campus, a place that represents excellence, passion, and pride: Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home court of Duke Basketball. My friend Rosie snagged us tickets to the women's game, and although we got there pretty late, we managed to watch our girls whip Clemson like I whip cancer. Duke won 92-37. Very impressive. I shouldn't fail to note that while we watched the game, my friend Junior and his girlfriend Christine sat in our rental car and watched Winston. How nice is that? I know Winston is a cute dog, but man - I've got some great friends.
After the game, we ran to our hotel, dropped off our luggage and Winston, and met up with Rosie, Junior, Christine, and my other Duke buddy Jessica at one of the most delicious dining establishments in Durham -- Cosmic Cantina. We chomped on delicious burritos (mine was filled with beans, rice, and guacamole), caught up on old times, came to the collective realization that we weren't as young as we used to be (it's been TEN YEARS since we were freshmen in college), and had lots and lots of laughs.
On the way home, at around midnight EST, Will took us on a driving tour of Duke's campus. We first went to East Campus and stopped briefly at Lilly Library (where lots of late-night paper-writing was done) and our freshman dorm, the mighty and legendary Giles. Serving as the president of Giles during our freshman year will always be one of my favorite leadership positions.
We kept cruising around campus and eventually, we made that familiar turn down Chapel Drive, making our way to West Campus and the gorgeous Duke Chapel. I had to fight back a tear or two as I approached it all. This was Duke -- the place where I learned, loved, partied, studied, stressed out, blissed out, and became the person I am today.
All in all, it was a perfect evening. I'm filled with energy, gratitude, and happiness. I'm blessed to be a Blue Devil, plain and simple. Could it possibly get any better? Funnily enough, I've got a sneaking suspicion that it could...and it will.