Another Homecoming weekend has come and gone, taking with it countless mini reunions with the ghosts of Colgate seniors past. Homecoming has that weird kind of déjà vu thing going for it. We spend two months getting used to campus without the people who graduated last year and then they swarm back and it feels both totally natural and really strange. Knowing that you can do the Glass-Bacon-Nichols-Jug lap and being sure that you’ll get to see everyone you want to see is a wonderful feeling. And seeing the alumni’s ability to jump right back into the Colgate lifestyle gave me the motivation to really make the most of my weekend, too.
But there were other things on my mind this weekend other than boozing and schmoozing. This year, the concept that these alumni are my future really hit home. Seven months separates me from the alumnae classification. Needless to say, that’s a scary thought. So in between overly enthusiastic hugs and gossip sharing, I attempted to gather some hard data on Life After Colgate.
The most common feeling I got from the graduated masses seemed to be a deep nostalgia for Colgate combined with the truth that the real world certainly has its perks. At first, everyone wants to make sure you know exactly how great you have it. There’s always something going on here, you rarely have to get out of bed before 10 a.m. (if you plan your schedule correctly) and there’s no cover charge at the Jug.
But once they get over their trip down memory lane, they’ll confess that the real world isn’t so bad. I’m sharing some of the most pertinent results to any concerned seniors (is there any other kind?) here, in hopes that when we get to the real world together and I’m jobless, you’ll remember my advice and take pity on me by letting me sleep on your couch. Juniors and below need not read further; you’re far too young to be worrying about the future.
One of the primary things that alums admit to liking is the escape from the bubble into the wide world. Now, I know I’ll miss being able to run a background check on any boy at the Jug just by texting a few friends. There’s a level of comfort here that we’ll never have Out There. But the flip side of that is that we get to leave some of our more questionable moments behind. No one in any of the thriving metropolises in your future knows that you once made out with five girls in one night before going home with a sixth and peeing in her roommate’s shoes. No one has to know about that time you yelled at everyone in a 15-foot radius because you saw your Friday night makeout swapping spit with your roomie on Saturday. You get to leave those beautiful memories on Broad Street and head out into a world where you’re as pulled together as everyone else (or at least you can pretend to be).
So the real world gives us a level of anonymity that’s kind of nice. And what else does it offer us? The correct answer is time. You Future Financial Warlords of America can skip this paragraph, you definitely won’t have any free time. But those of us interested in pursuing more manageable careers actually might. Imagine coming home from work and not having to sit down and start your massive pile of reading. There’s no paper writing in the real world. In fact, we can do things totally unrelated to work! We can go to the movies, or shows, or go out to dinner and not have to think about how much work we could be getting done during that time. That little ball of guilt that sits in my stomach and yells at me when I’m not being productive will go away and leave me to my leisure (well, actually, I’m Catholic, so probably not, but yours might!).
One more thing to look forward to: being the cream of the crop. Let’s face it, everyone at this school is really smart and really good looking and tends to look put together a good portion of the time. Those facts can give anyone an inferiority complex. I have it on good authority that in the real world, we’ll be compared to actual humans instead of robots. We’ll be so desirable, the real world won’t know what to do with us! Won’t that be great? My blood pressure drops just thinking about it.
As I sit here on a Sunday night, using my Editor’s Column as a form of procrastination, I have to admit that a future in which I don’t feel guilty every second that I’m not working on my thesis definitely has some appeal. And as lame as it might be, I look forward to a Saturday spent engrossed in a Criminal Minds marathon.
A world where I don’t go out four nights a week is probably the world that my liver has been longing for since freshman year. In my future, there’s actual time for making actual dinner (not Special K). Looking at the benefits of the real world makes graduation seem ever so slightly bearable. See you out there kids.
Contact Hannah Guy at [email protected]