When I first came to Colby, I had a sort of phobia of alumni. The whole idea of one seemed daunting: almost a reminder of how not far through life you have gone and how much more you need to do. Mentioning alumni or meeting them served as a constant reminder that you somehow have to not only not completely and utterly fail at life, but somehow be someone like they are thirty years from now. Okay, I guess I’m being a little dramatic. But just the whole idea of an alumni is a little humbling to a current college student whose most important goal in life right now is writing a paper and worrying about whether that picture of me in a dress from last Saturday night will look good on Facebook. After graduating, alumni have to pay for gas, buy their own food, (or god forbid actually make it. Last time I tried to make a sandwich without my mom I spilled jelly all over myself and had to give up) and worst of all, do taxes. How the hell am I supposed to do that? I tried to do my tax returns a few days ago and instead forwarded the pdf to my parents, who forged my signatures and did it for me. Or something like that.
But I digress. I have nothing against alumni, just the whole daunting reminder that someday I’ll have to pick out my own clothes and such things. In fact, I actually love alumni with a passion and love meeting them. They’re such wondrous people: they’ve made it through all the essays, finals, internships and everything else that marks the college process. If anything, they are both tremendously reassuring at the same time they are daunting. They’ve done it all and always have that knowing smile of secretly knowing all the crazy stuff that you’ve done that you don’t tell your parents about.
Last summer I was amazed by how many alums I ran into as I was out and about. On an uninhabited Maine island, at a restaurant, on the beach: Colby alums are everywhere. There is just no feeling in the world as good as hearing: “Hey! Colby class of ’82!” and starting an extremely enthusiastic conversation with them. They always get nostalgic and remember all the crazy but awesome times they had, and I always find it unbelievably interesting to hear all their Colby stories and to see where they’ve been in life. It’s sort of my mission when I get off campus to scour parking lots for Colby bumper stickers and to wear my Colby t-shirts (I have a ton) everywhere I go. I swear to god, when I graduate I am going to wear a Colby shirt every single day of my life. My flying car will have a plethora of Colby bumper stickers on it that you’d only ever see on a Subaru. And when I meet a current Colby student, I’ll probably start bawling remembering all the good times I had.