Yesterday, I went on my first prospective student tour of Northwestern University – almost two years after I graduated. And it ended up being a tour down Memory Lane – otherwise known as Sheridan Road.
My cousin Sophie and her dad drove from New York to Chicago to visit Midwestern colleges, including my beloved alma mater. Because I had never actually been on the NU tour before, I decided to join them.
It was quite an experience, looking at Northwestern from the view of a “prospie” as an alumna of the school. Our tour guide showed us all around campus, discussing dining halls and the library, academic advisors and the lacrosse team.
I knew most of the “fun facts” from the tour, and I had stories that rivaled the tour guide’s (“I had a friend who double-majored in engineering and dance!”). Why didn’t I lead the group?
I guess prospies and parents appreciate current students running the tours. But maybe I could run my own tour: The Lia Lehrer Alumna Tour of Northwestern.
The tour would start with me showing off the Communications Residential College, my freshman year dorm. Then I’d show you 1835 Hinman, the place where I often ate make-your-own pizzas with green peppers. Then we’d travel to Norbucks, where I spent all evening copy editing The Daily Northwestern. I’d show you Harris Hall, the location of my history and neuroscience interdisciplinary freshman seminar.
I’d show you the gym that I never went to because I was intimidated by all the Division I athletes working out there. And then I’d show you the gym that I never went to because I was lazy.
As I attempted to give this unofficial version of the Lia Lehrer Tour to Sophie and her father yesterday while on the real tour, I saw plaques pop up around campus that seemed to appear only to me. “Here lies the location at which Lia enjoyed getting fro-yo.” “This was the place where Lia always dropped her cell phone calls.”
But I guess there aren’t plaques around campus commemorating the life I once led there. It only seems that way to me.
As each new generation of prospies begin their time at NU, I’ll know fewer and fewer people on campus, and the buildings will change even more. But I hope that for me, my unofficial tour – the “plaques” representing my four years along Sheridan Road in Evanston – will be something that will never fade away.