Alumni pay visits during college breaks

December 4, 2016 — by Muthu Palaniappan and Eileen Toh

Alumni come back over the break

Late last month, Class of 2016 alumnus and current NYU freshman Luke Salin drove through the Saratoga High parking lots, barely controlling his excitement as he eyed through the several cars for his good friend 2016 alumnus Naveed Riaziat, now at Purdue. Once he saw Riaziat get out of his car, Salin parked his car and ran to Riaziat to give him a hug.

The months of November and December mean the spotting of familiar faces across campus. After spending nearly three months across the country, alumni like Salin have returned to their former school to reunite with their high school teachers and friends during their breaks.  

Weeks before Thanksgiving, senior William Chen asked  Salin to co-anchor the broadcast from New York on a laptop.

Salin was ecstatic to help the production, sitting in his dorm room and reading the announcements via Skype. Even though he initially felt awkward because most of the freshmen did not know who he is, he was still excited about the opportunity.

I definitely still feel connected to SHS, and I’m happy with my four years there,” Salin said. “I know not everyone feels that way, so I'll always be happy and appreciative to be connected to Saratoga.”

Even though Salin’s first time coming back home this school year was during Thanksgiving, he has still managed to stay in touch with his friends and family over social media and Facetime, whether they are catching up on their college lives or reminiscing about Homecoming. Once he came home, he and his friends ate at restaurants they missed and talked for hours in their cars.

My friends and I agree that coming home was refreshing,” Salin said “We know almost all the faces, the streets and the names. Constantly being within arm’s reach of your support system is a sense of comfort only your hometown can provide.”  

University of Washington freshman Anant Rajeev has  paid visits to his hometown twice before Thanksgiving break, though not out of homesickness.

“There are certain times when I think, ‘Wow it would nice to go back home,’ but there’s never been a time when I was in tears or upset,” he said.

Whether he is dancing with his Bollywood team or training for the upcoming soccer season, Rajeev has been constantly busy, but whenever he does miss being back, he reminds himself that his family is only a 2-hour flight away.

Like Salin, Rajeev also uses social media and video calls to stay in touch with his friends. During Thanksgiving, Rajeev spent time hanging out with his old friends who were home for the break as well.

“It was so refreshing to go back to the Saratoga way of life and meet up with our closest friends,” Rajeev said. “We picked up straight where we left off, getting lunches and just sitting in the parking lot. I always tell everyone to cherish Saratoga because no school or city beats this community and what it has to offer.”

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