Alumni Envy

The mail brought my quarterly college alumni magazine. I had to count on my fingers how long I’ve been an “alumni.” It only took two fingers – my thumb and forefinger, to form the digit for how much money I have given them since graduation. $0.

I’m not much of an alumni. In fact, I tell people I was accepted at XY, then actually attended XYZ but they had to change the name again so I graduated from ABC college…a  prestigious ‘women’s college’ that had begun to admit men.


The magazine is a fine tome of expensive thick paper imbued with lovely photographs in non-glossy hues of perfection. I guess someone else is giving to the alumni fund. I turned first to the “In Memorium” section. Morose right?  Who doesn’t want to see if they have outlived the one bitch who made your live miserable in college? When I couldn’t find her there I went straight to the “Major Donor’s” page and found she is alive and well.

My doppelgänger will be pleased to note, the one wench we made snarky remarks about was listed as a Board of Trustees’ member. She and her parents have been big supporters for years. Glad someone else isn’t spending down their children’s inheritance like me…

The thing about college alumni magazines, is they take you back to a period of extreme awkwardness in life. You really had no money but were thrust into a life of spending. Some folks went on to careers of learning and putting letters after their names. Others of us went on to multiple marriages, life lessons and mortgages.

I flipped to the sports wrap-up. My doppelgänger and I rode for the equestrian team. I don’t think we were a recognized team, we met daily at a broken down barn in George’s Mills owned by a guy named Ralph. But we rode, we competed, we set a standard. Today, the glossy magazine noted the “Charger’s Equestrian Team’s accomplishments in full prose and pictures. Ralph would  be proud. I am proud. But they still get no more of my money….

When I went through the “class notes” I did become a bit envious of those multi-generational alums who were featured in the wedding photos of their kids and their fellow alums kids. Well, only for  a moment – I probably couldn’t afford a proper gift at this point for such an affair. But the fact they had maintained contact all these years was enviable.

Julia and I were talking tonight at dinner about the importance of family and extended family in the fabric of society. She was discussing the upcoming local elections and a particular hotly contested candidate – a woman of latin descent in NH politics. She pointed out the strength  of family to latin society and that a healthy dose of respect for heritage would not be a bad thing for our ailing nation now. Words of wisdom I probably should have taken to heart all those years ago.



12 thoughts on “Alumni Envy

  1. I gave up (or like to think that I have) being envious of all the grand things and uber-fulfilling lives that I imagine so many others are leading. Over the years that illusion has been chipped away. Things are seldom what they seem.

    Love Julia’s wise observation ~ Yes, a healthy dose of respect for heritage and traditions and HAVING respect for others would serve us all well.

    Have a good day!

  2. I have not seen said magazine as yet, Im sure it is sitting in my mail pile at home. I too look up classmates to see what and where they are. While the campus has been “updated” and new buildings erected, shiny, glossy magazines produced, nothing could ever compare with our time there XXX years ago. We shared a 1 bedroom apartment not only with each other but a Great Dane named Kaiser, a Labradoodle named Grant and Mac, a shaggy loveable Seusshound, we worked our way though college at the local restaurant/bar and met our future husbands there (at least the first set of them!). I wonder how many of the students there work these days. Our equestrian days were what brought us together initially, a scrappy, horse loving handful of girls that took the competitive collegiate arena by storm…I think even Ralph was surprised at what the founding “riding team” could pull off when he thrust us into the competition world half way through the year and we came away regional reserve champions…. Glory days for sure…. no amount of money can ensure memories like that… would that it could! I think “we dun good!”

  3. Pingback: Ideas | Best from My Corner of the Blogosphere « collected.

    • I have to say, college for me was a time to grow up and learn to function in real life. The stuff we did in class, the papers I toiled over, were a waste of time.

      I am impressed that you went back to school at that point in life. It says a lot about who you are.

  4. I never cared about being an alumni. I couldn’t even tell you the names of anyone in my class. I wasn’t there to make friends, I was there to learn. Like NHGS, I went to college later in life, so the social part of it held no interest for me (although I did get involved with student government).

  5. This all makes me glad we don’t have college magazines here. I think I’m happier not knowing what happened to all those people I didn’t really care about and the ones I did I know about because I’m still in touch with them.

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