Friends take puzzling new trails

By Lynn Moncus

While conversing with some young friends during dinner, the subjects of loyalty to our alma maters and our feelings toward our classmates captured our attention for a few minutes and left me thinking about them later in order to try to understand what caused the differences in opinions.

Part of the time we were discussing colleges, and the rest of the time we were talking about our high schools. Two of us were proud Aggies and had all too much to say about our college years and even about our cheering for our teams even though they weren’t always winning.

Although we were from different generations, we talked about our experiences and our still feeling close to that campus. Although I haven’t remained close to many college classmates during the last fifty-one years, I still remember a number of them fondly and have tried to keep up with their progress. Both of us also talked about some of our professors and our memories of their classes.

Although that Aggie and I didn’t attend the same high school, we have both kept up with many of our classmates, and I have been privileged to attend many of our THS reunions.
Because she attended a larger school, she has attended single class reunions on occasion and also lives in her hometown so she gets to see old friends on a regular basis. We both have friends scattered all over the country and consider friendship to be among our most precious gifts.
The others looked at us as if we were a bit strange and commented that they felt they had little in common with classmates and didn’t seem to feel drawn to their alma maters. They seemed to be pitying us while we were pitying them, and I couldn’t come up with any solid ideas as to why we expressed such varied feelings. We had obviously followed different trails in school and later in life, causing us to have different values in our school years and the need or lack thereof for close friends.

Such conversations fascinate me because I enjoy listening to the various ideas about the same subject and to ponder such ideas in order to try to understand how they can be so different. Often I can put my differing ideas down to my age, but that didn’t hold up this time because the young Aggie and I were on the same side of the fence. Also, my “strictly from the sticks” background sometimes gives me a clue as to why my ideas are a little different. Again, the young Aggie had no such background nor did the others.

We just managed to have similar feelings that were quite opposite of those held by the others. We all approach life differently and develop our feelings as we move through it. Our families, friends, and teachers have much to do with our approach and lead us along until we begin to blaze our own trails. Many of us retain those early influences and build on them as we proceed. Many of us declare independence from those influences and prefer to remain free of them. Who is to say which is the best trail to follow? Those trails make us individuals and give us a chance to enjoy lively conversations.