For the first time since graduating college with my accounting degrees (Yes, plural. No, it’s not that impressive) two years ago, I received an alumni newsletter in the mail from my university’s business school. Turns out that’s another perk you get for spending thousands of dollars on a college education. I’m assuming they waited a while to send me one so that I could build up my salary a little bit and give them more money than I would have been able to straight out of school. Truly a slick business move made by a world-renowned business school. The only problem with that plan is that I’m still not going to send them shit. Have fun trying to get money out of our broke-ass state instead.
Normally mail like this is met with indifference at best, derision at worst, and a landing spot in the garbage can always. This time, however, I was somewhat excited to actually see what this newsletter had to say. After all, I am an esteemed graduate of one of the best business schools in the world! I this newsletter to keep up with what’s going on at my alma mater and see the global impact my fellow alumni are making! Okay, I didn’t really think that. I just wanted to kill some time. But I was still kind of looking forward to reading it.
After flipping through it, though, I don’t know why in the world I thought this would be enjoyable reading for me. The publisher could have at least done me the courtesy of giving the newsletter a subtitle like “Spring Scaries” or something to warn me of the contents within. We’ll start with the spotlight articles focused on the aforementioned alumni making a global impact. Unlike reading my jabroni Facebook friends’ posts about their trivial accomplishments, I was actually kind of rattled by these articles because those people are my direct peers and they’re making impressive accomplishments. These people are taking the same education I received and using it to do great things like start successful businesses use innovative strategies to make a tangible difference in the world. They even talk about current students in there who have accomplished more as an undergraduate than I have in my entire fucking life! I don’t need that anxiety! Who knows though, maybe I’ll get my own feature in there someday about how I work a mediocre accounting job, invest my money into gambling on point spreads, and spend my spare time writing juvenile articles about binge drinking and sex puns.
There’s also some quick hits about alumni events that took place in the past semester, including homecoming events hosted by the college. Apparently there was a tailgate held for business school alums, which someone captured some very nice pictures of. Everyone looked nice and it seemed to be a very cordial affair. Although if they really wanted to see a distinguished alumnus putting their college education and experience to good use, the photographer should have come to the other side of the parking lot and captured some pictures of me drunkenly hitting on sorority chicks and conspiring to sneak Fireball into the football game.
The rest of the newsletter was basically just filler, including short Q&As with faculty members and a listing of future alumni networking events that I will refrain from attending so I don’t embarrass myself. But damn, that was a lot to take in in only 35 short pages. Nothing quite like reading about the accomplishments of your peers to make you feel incredibly insecure about your own (or lack thereof).
Although I let those thoughts hang around in my head for a whole, I was fortunately able to get over it with two prevailing thoughts. One, I’ve found my own success and happiness in life, and as things change I’m sure I’ll adapt and find the drive necessary to keep things that way. I don’t need to compare myself to people in a newsletter to do that. And secondly, I don’t get this upset when the SmartSource book doesn’t include coupons for Popeye’s, so why should I get all worked up by this piece of junk mail? Say “hi” to my high school alumni letter when you’re down there in the trash. .
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