25 Years Later

Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all are having a great weekend so far.

Last week I went to Homecoming at my alma mater, Campbell University, and it was my 25 year class reunion. OMG! I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since I walked across the stage and received my degree! Where oh where has the time gone?!

It was good to go back to the Creek again (Campbell is located in Buies Creek) and see how the campus has changed. To say there has been a lot of change is an understatement. The dorm I lived in my sophomore and junior year no longer stands and in Kitchen’s place will be the new Student Union. With Kitchen’s demolition there are no more dorms located on the quad anymore and it was a little bittersweet. Where the Office of Admission use to be there is now an auditorium.

New Student Union going up where I use to live

The Office Admission use to be here and behind was Off Campus Student housing

Going back to Campbell and seeing all the changes that have taken place made me think about the changes that I’ve gone through over these last few years. My time at Campbell was wonderful in so many ways: I served in Student Government all 4 years, I was politically active, and I made some life long friendships but I was also very depressed. There were times when I just couldn’t face the day but I forced myself to get up and go to class and wear the I’m okay mask. I remember once I was so depressed I just couldn’t get out of bed thank God for Beth & John who got me out of bed and got me the help I needed! They were my life line and they still are to this day. So were Donna, Allen, Derrick, Leanne, Sharon, Monica, and many others who will never know how much their genuine friendship meant to that girl.

So going back to Campbell to see classmates I haven’t seen in 25 years except on social media was exciting. I missed my 10 year and 20 year class reunion and I was determined not to miss my 25 year class reunion and I’m glad this is the reunion I didn’t miss. I’m not the same Regina I was 25 years ago back then I was not just depressed but I had no self esteem and I was desperate to be liked so I became a people pleaser and I was constantly on a diet. I was criticized about my hair and clothes and although I was told it was done from a place of love the ones who did the critiquing tore pieces from my soul and destroyed what little self esteem I had.

I remember crying and pleading with David, the Junior Class President, to please let me skip the Homecoming dance because 1. I didn’t have a date (not one date the whole 4 years), 2. I had nothing to wear, and 3. I just couldn’t face the event but David was firm but gentle with me and reminded me as one of the Junior Class representatives it was was mandatory that I attend. Again thank God for Leanne and Nicole who held my hands through this and we all went together as each others dates. Plus size fashion back then was not what it is today. My mom and I spent the weekend before Homecoming running all over Durham trying to find formal dress for me to wear and we ended up settling for a black and white dress we found in the bridal department at Belks and then I had to diet and exercise like crazy to loose almost 10lbs so I could wear the dress comfortably. Needless to say I had a miserable time at the Homecoming Dance.

Fast forward 25 years later when I stepped on campus the memories, good and bad, flooded me but it was still great to be on campus and to see some of my classmates and professors. It was good to know within myself that I was no longer the people pleasing, low self esteem, no self confidence woman I was then.

Alicia is still just as sweet as ever! Great to see Dr. Martin, Dr. Fortner, and Dr. Johnson

It was great to see the changes that had taken place and to see the growth that has happened since I left Buies Creek in 1993. Campbell and I have a lot in common in that respect we have both grown and changed in these 25 years for Campbell where there were parking lots, dorms, and open spaces they have now been replaced with new dorms, new programs and schools, new green spaces, traffic circles (still no traffic light), a Starbucks, a little strip mall, and old buildings have been renovated. For me I am no longer that insecure, no self esteem, lonely girl who was so desperate to be liked and loved by people who could care less about her that I would do just about anything for their acceptance. I have grown into a confident woman who now realizes that the most important person I must please is Jesus. I’ve learned how to be a friend and how to make friends. I’ve learned that I am a pretty awesome and cool woman but most importantly I learned to love myself, love life, and appreciate the people who loved me when I was at my lowest and worst point in my life.

As my best friend Lisa Bruckschen once told me and I agree in 25 years I’ve come a long way baby!

Dress from Lane Bryant (old), Denim Jacket from Dia & Co, Pocketbook from Payless Shoes (old) Booties from Just Fab (old)

Until next time Southernistas remember to Be Bold, Be Fearless, Be Confidant!

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