My weekend was spent in Columbia for Mizzou’s Centennial Homecoming. 100 years ago, Mizzou hosted the first Homecoming when they invited alumni back for the Mizzou/Kansas game. A century later, the tradition has spread to schools throughout the United States. This year’s wasn’t as epic as the debauchery of last year. We beat OU in one of the greatest Mizzou games I’ve ever seen, we rushed the field, knocked down the goal post, carried it all the way downtown, sawed it into a million and one pieces for everyone to keep, and forced the Columbia Police Department to basically cut off car traffic and form a perimeter because of the amount of people and alcohol downtown. It was the best memory of college by far. Needless to say, Homecoming at Mizzou is a special thing and it was even more special to be there for my first Homecoming as an alumni.

As expected, it was strange to walk around as someone who no longer lives there, someone who’s moved on…just a little bit I keep reminding myself. I spent the entire weekend with the group of people I’ve known since freshmen year. We reminisced and tried to reconstruct lost nights at bars, dresses, parties, walks home, and random people we’d met along the way. Nothing in the world makes me happier than hanging out with friends over a few drinks.

I left my apartment Friday at 5:30am bound for StL (thank god for megabus). I waited at Union Station in StL for Colleen and we headed to Columbia along with everyone else in the state of Missouri. Also Bridget did a hand-off of my winter clothes in the Wal-Mart parking lot…story of our lives. At least I have more than the week’s worth of clothes I took to Korea AND I have a winter coat for this ridiculous Chicago weather I’m about to experience.

It was a marathon weekend full of crowded bars and good times. I need to plan another Mizzou weekend just to see everyone I missed. Friday night we went out to Quinton’s, definitely one of my favorite bars in Columbia. We had a late night and an early morning. I was up by 8:30 to meet a friend at the parade downtown. We missed half of it and I ended up on the wrong side of 9th Street so I had to cut through the floats. Scandalous. Post-parade involved tailgate-hopping. We ended up staying at one of the tailgates for most of game. Colleen and I decided that since we’d bought a game ticket, we might as well go in. I think we got to our seats about half-time, we watched the band and I’m not even sure we actually saw any football played before we left. The tailgate was calling our name. We drank and were merry for a few more hours before heading back to Erin’s for a much needed nap. I think I slept a total of 40 minutes. We had dinner downtown followed by an awesome night at Trops. We even had a late night run to Mizzou Market…just for old times sake. We left Columbia by 9:30 and I was back in Chicago by 6:30 Sunday night.

It was so great just to BE with everyone. Mizzou has given me so many things including people that I really hope will be my friends for a long time. Keeping in touch is hard and it will be especially for me the next few years but we’ll always have Mizzou to come home to. Here’s to you Old Missouri!

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