Posted in My Life

Perks of Membership

On October 1–the same day the U.S. government shutdown–my complimentary membership in my university’s alumni association expired. Now I am debating on whether to rejoin.

I love my school! I wear a dozen t-shirts, keep my keys on a Bruin chain, and recommend my school to every high school student I can. My four years there were incredible and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I miss not being there.

Joining the alumni association is not expensive, just $20 a year. (Besides, I want to support my school.) Members receive the usual benefits: discounts at the campus bookstore, dining common and at various businesses as well as invitations to special activities and resources. I have already taken advantaged of the resources my school offers alumni. But quite frankly, those aren’t the reasons I’m considering rejoining. Maybe if I lived closer to the university.

No, there is an unexplainable joy that swells inside whenever I see my alumni association membership card. It just makes me happy. I feel pride in my school, naturally. I also like having proof that I graduated in my pocket.

Since having a membership card brings me pleasure, why haven’t I rejoined the association?

Because it isn’t necessary. With or without my name on the association’s roster, I belong. To a university. To a family. Belonging is what makes me happy.

Posted in My Life

On Graduation

After three years of watching my friends walk across the FMA stage and shake Dr. Jones’s hand, it was finally my turn.

My part of the ceremony went quickly. Since I was in the back of the graduates, I got to watch most everyone go before me. Then we had our cue to stand and walk up. The lights gave everything on stage a hazy appearance. I kept reminding myself: stay on the red line, stand up straight, smile!

I think I was the only one to shake Dr, Weir’s hand. Technically we weren’t supposed to, but I really wanted to do it. He didn’t seem to mind.

After a few brief moments, it was over and I could relax in my seat until the ceremony was over.

And now I am not longer a college student. “Real Life” has begun.