It is implied that Mitch reunites with his professor because, upon seeing his interview on "Nightline," remembers the good student — and the good person — he had been during his time with Morrie at Brandeis. Mitch is nostalgic for his former self, and seems not to recognize the man he has become. Just as Morrie's "softness" had been attractive to him in college, Mitch now needs this compassion and tenderness from Morrie to regain some sense of the man he had been, the man he would like to be. The relationship that Mitch and Morrie share, however, is not one-sided. Morrie, too benefits from his time with Mitch, as he is able to live in vicarious spirit through Mitch and the escapades he is now experiencing for the first time in his young life. This rare dynamic between Mitch and Morrie is embodied by the nicknames they call one another, Morrie being the "coach" and Mitch being the "player." Morrie has lived a long, experienced life and passes his experiences on to Mitch, so that he may learn from them, as Morrie has, and literally play them out in his life.

Although he has learned much from Morrie, Mitch is still learning his most pressing lesson: to reject the cultural norm if it is not conducive to one's own happiness. Mitch is clearly entangled in the norms of culture, living the life of the young, successful professional who is too overrun with work to think of anything else. His trouble with breaking from these cultural norms is most obvious in his hesitation to be honest about death and the physical embarrassment that comes with aging. Eventually, with more Tuesday visits, Mitch will learn from Morrie how to break free of these norms, and will gradually come to accept Morrie's physical debilitation and impending death as a natural part of the life cycle.