The Working Man’s Guide To Visiting Your Alma Mater

The Working Man's Guide To Visiting Your Alma Mater

College football season is in full swing and that’s a good enough reason for even the most depressed and broke of us to get at least a little bit excited. Like many of you, I attended a mediocre state school south of the Mason-Dixon with one hell of a tailgate scene. There’s something about semi-drunken corn hole, beautiful women in dresses, 10 a.m. keg stands, and one of your old degenerate fraternity brothers manning the grill that says “America is still the greatest country on Earth.”

But, as a relatively recent college graduate and cubicle warrior, I can say that visiting your alma mater for the good ole’ homecoming game against some inferior opponent is an incredibly refreshing experience all of us must come to appreciate. That swamped inbox and impending expense report from your conference in St. Louis can go to hell because it’s time to take a walk down the liquor-soaked memory lane that is your college experience. Pack your bags, call up some old friends, and keep these tips in mind when visiting your old stomping grounds this fall.

Stop By The Old Watering Hole

This one’s a given. One of the most notable expenses I’ve come to know after graduation is the cost of alcohol in my current metro area, especially next to the dirt cheap bars I used to frequent in college while celebrating a “C” on my algebra exam and another semester off academic probation (Life’s little victories, am I right?). Frankly, there’s nothing quite like the pure bliss you find in a college bar. All of the shitty, overpriced clubs filled with guido try-hards and spray tanned golddiggers in the downtown area of my city have nothing on the hole in the wall college pub, where Hootie & the Blowfish plays on repeat while you strike up a conversation with the gorgeous Kappa Delta to your left. My old college bar, Devaney’s, was noted for its ten dollar all-you-could-drink cover, the cheapest blackout on this side of the Mississippi. Now I can only look back at those deals with great nostalgia while I fork over an extra $6 for a mimosa at brunch.

Actually Go To The Game

I’m guilty of this one. Tailgating is the ultimate pre-game, often times topping the actual game itself if you do it right. It’s only natural to have one drink too many and end up A) drunkenly carrying on to the local bar for more adult beverages B) passing out in a porta-potty (junior year was a weird time in my life) or C) heading back to home base with Ashley who’s visiting from out of town.

I get it, raging face is absolutely an integral part of the college experience and naturally leads to some unplanned events, but if you were lucky enough to attend a school with anything even remotely close to Division I football team, then make it to those damn stands. After all, college football, alongside Netflix and Chick-Fil-A, are among the many things that make America the greatest country in the world.

Even as a kid I remember making an active effort to wake up before noon just to watch a youthful Kirk Herbstreit make his game days picks while his elderly colleague, likely facing the early stages of dementia, would put on the mascot’s head of the chosen team often leading to boos, cheers, or a combination of both from the intoxicated audience behind them. Frankly, college sports have a passion and an energy surrounding them that you just don’t find in the pros. Attending a ball game, either as a student or an alumni, you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. Enjoy every second while you drunkenly shove that turkey leg down your gullet. God bless America.

Reconnect With The #Squad

If you’re anything like me, your old college buddies went a variety of different directions. Brad’s enjoying his lucrative career in finance, Greg’s delaying the real world by attending some piss poor law school, and that lazy bastard Keith is still bumming around at his parent’s house re-watching House of Cards for the third time this year. This weekend though, you’re all just reliving those glory days from not long ago, while the other parts of life aren’t all too important. Even if there’s not a game to attend, hitting the town and reclaiming those old stomping grounds remains a necessity.

In addition to most of my good friends going a variety of different career/unemployment paths, many of us have scattered across the entire country ranging from South Carolina to Texas to New York. There’s something to be said about gathering together old friends for a weekend of shenanigans just like the old days. If it’s in your budget, I even recommend shooting for trips with friends outside of visiting your alma mater as well. Hell, my dad (who is on the cusp on sixty) still does yearly trips with his college friends. As a matter of fact, they were living the #marglife in Cancun just a few months ago.

Get the #squad back together and wreak some havoc, you’ll appreciate it when you’re crunching spreadsheets in your cube next Tuesday while Darla from accounting humble brags to you about how well her son is doing in piano.

Rekindle An Old Flame

If you’re in a relationship like myself, skip this section and continue to be a decent human being. However, if you’re the sexually challenged type who is struggling to get by on Tinder alone, then listen up. We all had that one night stand in college. It could’ve been Becky from English who was “librarian hot” or perhaps even Taylor from Tri-Delt who was easily out of your league, but you managed to sway your direction after an above average beer pong performance during that toga party sophomore year.

One of the perks of reconnecting with these long lost babes (or studs) during a visit is that unlike college, you’re unlikely to be seeing these “one and dones” anytime soon. No awkward run-ins in the quad, no unexpected clingers, just the classic smash n’ dash. Who knows, maybe you’ve still got that hidden confidence that comes out after a few Jack and Cokes. Give it a go, you’ve got nothing to lose, except maybe your pride, and that probably left you a long time ago.

I’m going to go ahead and book that plane ticket now, I encourage you to do the same. Rediscover your happiness that captivated you all those years (and beers) ago. Visit your Alma Mater and have a damn good time, you won’t regret it.

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When I'm not complaining about the traffic, you'll find me at the local Applebees.

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