My ride on the nostalgia train

By Chris Peralta

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Ah yes, the college freshman — a unique creature. Innocent in nature, the college freshman actually buys textbooks from the bookstore and tries to find a parking spot in front of the OC. 

Oh, if they only knew what lies ahead.

I was one of them four years ago. Smelling of Axe body spray and resembling an Abercrombie & Fitch billboard, I walked into South Foundation Hall only to walk out 15 minutes later because my professor didn’t show up.

I really should’ve thought something was up when I saw 10 professors picketing at the entrance of P1.

The first day of class four years ago was pushed back a whole week.

I’m on my way out the door and Dec. 14 is closing in. I’m sitting on the nostalgia train. 

I’m replaying all of my college outtakes. I thought that I’d be able to control my own metaphor, but I guess that’s way too easy. 

“Wait just a minute, here.” I say. “Maybe this is the point of the nostalgia train. It’s showing me what I’ve done wrong to prove that I’ve changed in my four years at Oakland.”

I then watch all of my outtakes. Seeing the change actually happen through the failed secret admirer attempts and $300 textbooks is like seeing a Charmeleon evolve into a Charizard.

Now, the outtakes are over and I’m starting to come to terms with something. The nostalgia train showed me that OU allowed my closeted-nerdiness to be let loose upon the world. 

Without fear of being picked on, I branched out. I’m even nerdier than I was before, but I feel like this version of me is better.

In high school, my love of superheroes was kept a secret. I was quiet around my classmates. They would see me/knew I existed, but that didn’t make me any different from Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster when it came to actually getting to know them.

Oakland was what I needed. You guys are cool because a lot of you accept my nerdiness with open arms. 

After realizing that, my outtakes don’t really matter anymore because I was being myself instead of somebody else.

Looking back, I’ve matured without really growing up, if that makes any sense. Instead, I did something that I didn’t in high school. I made long-lasting friendships and other kinds of sappy/boring stuff.

To honor the nostalgia train and what it has shown me, I’ll walk on campus proudly displaying my nerdy T-shirts. I have a lot of them, by the way. I believe the current total is 27.