Sensing the change

    Royce reflects how his homecomings and life have changed over the years

    More stories from Royce Ingram

    A Special Week
    December 10, 2014

    Homecoming is like life in that it is indescribable.

    Each element can fully immerse its participants in the moment all the while remaining a smaller part of something bigger: a “standing room only” student section; a stadium with one team left, saturated in silence; a hot and sweaty dance floor; a quiet gym with trampled flowers; and contagious laughter at the idea of sleep.  One must make decisions of what to do with their limited time and live with the consequences.

    Homecoming seems like an accurate way of charting my life in high school. Who I hung out with and what I received from the investments of my time stick out in my memories.

    I don’t remember much about my freshman homecoming.  All I remember was Student Council. I did not really partake in a group because I did not have many friends in my third month of high school.  This was the year I began getting my feet wet with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Spartan volleyball, and Student Council (StudCo).  I guess you could call it the year I made good friends, probably for the first time in my life. FCA became my group of belonging. Peeps to hang out and and text. It was my niche.

    The next two Homecomings, snow ball, and prom were spent with friends from my involvement. There was always some little complication here or there, but that is normal. A good normal that I was getting used to. A normal of enjoying life with others.

    I could sense the difference: a group of friends; something I had not had before. Sophomore year flew by. I continued being involved in leading FCA huddles and setting up Homecoming with stellar people in StudCo.  I won a class election for Homecoming court; I even got my first C on a test.  In these initial years, the biggest change was my relations to thousands of people around me.

    You see, I spent my middle school with a friend or two, knowing names, but not much more. If my friend Patrick was sick, I ate lunch alone. I played baseball knowing names, but missing team dinners.  I was not involved; I definitely felt the results.

    Three years later, and I am plugged in. Plugged in to fruitful friendships from my involvement.

    And I can detect the difference.

    A feeling drastically different from any other. A feeling that life is here and now, rushing by each instant to deposit a burst of joy, sweeping sorrow, brilliant ideas, and everything imaginable, because anything is possible. Others may have their fancy apparel or sleek cars, but this is not something to be bought. This is a family of persons involved. I do not know if they will move next year or attend a college in Cali, but I do not care. Here and now, I know three things: involvement has unlocked so many of life’s enjoyable gifts; I am involved; and it is worth every second.

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