Diary of a Nostalgic Grad
A Former Tripod Writer Sends an S.O.S. From the Real World
Oh, hello. As you may recall, during the forgotten year of the Dick Hersh era, I used to have a column at the Tripod. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, something horrible happened: I graduated. Many of you are seniors and of those 500 or so, I'm quite sure that a lot of you are ready to move on. You say cynical things like, "Oh that's weird, I've never been to the Tap before," or "I've already taken Jewish Traditions," or possibly, "without Kevin Alexander here my life is not worth living."
Like you, I spent much of my senior year grumbling about the failures of this institution.
Like you, I made fun of those who dared come back on a weekend other than Homecoming, saying, "Once I leave, I'm gone for good. Can't they move on with their lives? I mean, who are these people?"
Well, sadly, now I am one of these people.
As I write I am sitting in the Student Union of Boston University's campus. This place has four floors, 11 different commercial eateries and more people sitting eating at any one time than Trinity has on campus. I'm not trying to intimidate you. It's really not as cool as you may think.
I am a graduate student in the Journalism school and my title, which I always believed sounded cool when I said it modestly at the bar, makes me just another awkward, older student in a huge urban, faceless campus.
Let me be clear that I am, in no way, insulting the graduate classes that I take. Actually, except for the ones I don't understand, I find them rather interesting.
Yet there is something wrong with the picture here. The actual school smells and looks like my middle school, lockers and all, and I constantly feel like I'm in an episode of DeGrassi Junior High (the only problem being that I have never actually seen the show). There is no common area, no source of communal bonding, and worse, nowhere to play campus golf.
I miss the gothic architecture of Seabury and the cannon protected quad and not having to show two forms of ID and take a number in order to check an email that doesn't even include friendly reminders from Jorge Lugo about how to avoid robberies.
I miss having kids my age in classes instead of people that are either five years older than me or trying to act that way.
I want to go to a library with leather chairs, fireplaces and a coffee shop.
I want to recognize professors and have them say sarcastic things to me in the middle of the semester like, "Oh, Mr. Alexander, I didn't realize you were in this class."
And yes, I do want to go to the Tap. On a Thursday.
Randomly, today I ran into another Trinity graduate who is getting her Masters in the Arts here and she immediately told me, "I went back to Trinity last weekend. I couldn't stay away."
As she divulged her stories of partying at AD (a place I got into twice), it jealousy consumed me and I realized something: It's okay to miss your college. It should be a reassurance of the quality of your education and the happiness of those years. The reason I am writing this so soon is because I know that, after several years, college blurs into the "best time of your life" with no actual discernible qualities. But it is those qualities, I've come to realize, that make your college experience so profoundly unique.
So my advice to those of you still in school is this: every once in awhile, when you're lying on the quad or yelling obscenities at Wesleyan basketball players, take a moment and recognize what it is that makes your college life so good.
Appreciate the fact that, if nothing else, in that specific moment you love your school.
And just understand that it's memories like these that will keep you wanting to go back long after you graduate.
So if someone could please tell me whether that guy who checks our IDs in Ferris is still here, I'd greatly appreciate it.
It's all I've got left.
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