Going back home after one year at college and seeing all your old friends again was not just the plot of “American Pie 2.” It was also a reality for thousands of Michigan students.
That first year in college is a big step for anyone you cannot go to the same school as all of your friends so staying in constant contact and being able to share all experiences with friends becomes very difficult.
Divisions and distance grow between you and someone who maybe a year ago you saw everyday and knew everything about. Meeting new people is an integral part of the college experience, and making new memories is a result of these friendships.
Then, when school ends, and when most students go back home for the summer, it is time to once again be with all your old compatriots. Yet, things are not always the way they used to be.
In “American Pie 2,” the whole gang separates for a year, attending “Michigan” and “State.” They come home and reunite after very different experiences at the different schools (the movie got that right) it is like things have not changed at all.
Sure, Kevin and Vicky are not together anymore but the guys are still back to their old pastimes of drinking beer, making fun of the Shermanator, and of course getting pissed on (why does Stifler throw parties if he constantly gets embarrassed at them?).
The guys of “AP2” decide that home will be a little too boring for their taste (who really wants to spend a whole summer in Grand Rapids, oops, I mean Great Falls?) so they rent a beach house and conclude their summer with another huge party where all the plot elements will finally come together.
Sadly, most real students do not get to spend their summers on the beach with their best friends living in a house that deserves to be on “The Real World.”
Us normal folk go home, get jobs that we wish would pay more, fiend for a party that resembles college but does not have any current high schoolers attending, and go see more movies with our friends that we would ever want to (did I really pay to see “Scary Movie 2?” Please say no!).
Just because the summer after freshman year does not imitate the ones we see in the movies does not indicate that the summer is a bad one. In reality, it can be one of the best summers of your waning youth.
The break from studies and getting to see your old buddies again definitely make the summer worthwhile. There may be no frats back home in cities like Troy, Potomac, or Wauwatosa but there is your friend Dave”s basement, or the local 7-11, or maybe even a bowling alley.
As the summer rolls on, your close friends know almost everything that happened to you at school and you could write a book about their experiences. Your experiences will be different but they will bring you closer as you realize that your old friends have not really changed that much (hopefully) and that you are still going to through similar times even if you are 1,000 miles away from each other.
Also, hanging out with all the old high school buds again does not mean you lose touch with the all the new college friends. By e-mail, AOL Instant Messenger, and occasionally visits to each other”s hometowns, you will keep in contact and together share your anticipation for heading back to school while separately enjoying the time away from it.
Great things also happen occasionally when new college friends visit each other and become friends with the other”s friends from home. It is a weird intersection of two different worlds but it can also be a beautiful, rewarding experience. It is almost like your old friends have accepted your choice of new friends you have not disgraced yourself with the “new people.”
Life is not like the movies. Your friend Stifler is not going to have a threesome with the two “lesbians” living next door and Jim”s penis will not heal in enough time to have his way with Nadia or Michelle. But things are good anyway.
At the beginning of summer, there are always the complaints about how boring home is. Then comes the realization that it is great seeing all the people that you grew-up with again. Finally, just about the time that home is getting mind-numbingly boring, Ann Arbor is waving you back into its clutches.
So if you are walking in the Diag and you see Jim or Kevin or any other fictional characters who attend “Michigan,” tell them that your summer was better than theirs because it was genuine and it won”t cost $29.95 when it comes out on DVD.