Thoughts Every (Recent) College Grad Has Had

I received my very first college alumni newsletter today (I graduated just over three months ago, in May). Thank goodness it didn’t get lost somewhere in cyberspace, since I really needed that special something to lower my self-esteem this week.

After glancing at the email, I quickly realized: reading your college alumni newsletter is like jealous Facebook stalking, only delivered straight to your inbox for convenience. A woman who graduated just two years before me is getting her PhD. Two years. Doesn’t it take that long just to get your Master’s? My classmates’ projects are being featured in The New Yorker. They have high-ranking careers with Amnesty International.

I am a barista and aspiring writer. I have had three poems published, I am working on a number of fiction projects, and I run a blog, humble as it may be. I am engaged to be married in June to a wonderful man. We live together in a nice apartment with our two fur children, and we are very happy. But I couldn’t submit any of these things to an alumni newsletter, and for some reason, that bothers me.

I want these people to think highly of me, and the reason is probably mostly a petty one. Maybe I just want to be able to say, “Ha! You thought I was just that moody girl wearing too much eyeliner, who was always writing those angst-filled poems/stories, but guess what… I just won the Pulitzer/Booker/Nobel Prize(s)!”

I wish there were two separate newsletters and that you could choose which one to receive. The one for “regular” alumni would be just like the one that I received today. But the other one, the one for alumni like me, would be called, “We May Not Be In The New Yorker, But We Have Lovely Lives Filled With Joy, and We Are Happy.” A bit silly, yes, but we wouldn’t care. Inside would be photos of all our smiling faces (and I would still be wearing too much eyeliner).