One of the best parts of living on West Campus is getting to wake up and enjoy a leisurely stroll across the sunlit, grassy quad over to ABP or Divinity Cafe for a hearty Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast. This weekend, that perk was made even more pleasurable by the herds of parents and alumni blocking all the sidewalks and main entrances, covered in Duke blue outfits that totally weren’t tacky.

Blue Devils long past their prime and their legacy-children formed lines at the Café by paying with cash and credit cards, forms of payment that are foreign to most of the West Union registers. The atmosphere was a dynamic mix of overly excited football dads, the seniors from last year whose lives still aren’t cool enough to have something better to do than attend alumni weekend, freshman who think that Duke football games are fun and fed-up sophomores and juniors just trying to get their coffee before finding a spot on the third floor of Perkins.

The weekend activities began with an unforgettable Homecoming Dance on Friday night, during which independents had a great time while Greek and SLG affiliates did something allegedly “cooler.” President Price, who has so far impressed the Duke community by being a remodel of the former white male president and by constantly reminding people of money with his less-than-subtle last name, kicked off his first homecoming in his new home, not that anybody actually cares.

On Saturday, the football game brought crowds of people over to K-Ville starting at 10 in the morning, tailgating and talking about how much fun it is to have job security. Undergraduate students had to have awkward conversations with all the “young alumni” who they’d kind of hoped they’d never see again post-graduation.

“How was your post-grad summer trip to Europe/Thailand? The pics you posted in your super cleverly titled ‘Life after Duke’ Facebook album looked incredible!” one washed out junior said to a young alumnae who graduated about five minutes ago.

“Yeah, it was like, life-changing,” she affirmed before adding, “But it’s so good to be back. I can’t wait to get unnecessarily drunk at a darty and cry on my flight back home!”

Though things were looking pretty bleak halfway through the game, Duke surprisingly beat Baylor by a whopping 14 points, proving that towing undergraduates from Blue Zone is truly the key to victory, not the football team’s skill or coaching proficiencies. Devil’s Krafthouse was packed with cheering old people drinking tons of overpriced beer and students hiding from them in the corners of the restaurant, scarfing down burgers and fries and watching ranked teams play instead.

Throughout Saturday, the young alumni were scattered between Duke’s campus and off-campus frat parties, which are just as inconvenient and off-brand as they were a year ago, but were packed with enough freshman girls and warm alcohol to make the alumni feel at home again.

Many of those who remained on campus took nostalgic strolls through Perkins and the Gardens, even though there was literally nothing else to see in Perkins except the same stacks of books and stressed-out, actually busy students who death-stared or growled upon the approaching job-holders. The Gardens offered more of a view with its blooming flowers and sunlit ponds, and even though most of all the alumni have been to New York and know for certain that Central Park is so much more “cultured” than the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, they all constantly repeated that they just missed its “charm.” 

Perhaps it was the ugly art installation that’s killing the grass, or maybe it was the overuse of the term “Gothic Wonderland” while packing another bowl in that bong the alumni “borrowed” from their fraternity, that created an air of nostalgia and longing as the sun set.

At night, many of the returners began to panic upon realizing all the clothes they’d packed was far too conservative and warm to wear to Shooters, but eventually they subsided to peer pressure, exhibiting their maturity and their ability to “adult.” The line to get in over-21 was significantly longer than the under-age line, a rare phenomenon in nature that only occurs on weekends like these.

Inside, a few hip parents (brought along by their even hipper kids) rode the bull and made everyone uncomfortable while young alumni shared teary-eyed reunions with current undergrads and with each other. Everyone was having so much fun that it took them longer than usual to acknowledge what a disgusting place Shooters is. 

It was truly a magical weekend, made even more special by the fact that it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the Class of 2017 to feel so awkward.

Daniela Flamini is a Trinity junior. Her column runs on alternate Mondays.