Amanda Besinger Photograph


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They're Baaaack: A Visit from Alumni

April 11, 2006       Like I mentioned in the introduction, I remember asking about alumni relations as a prospective student, but I didn't really know what that meant.  It's the kind of thing you read in college statistics, and it's definitely one of the kinds of questions I'll hear my parents asking.  And at 18 years old, I have to say, I wasn't nearly as concerned about alumni as I was about, say, the social scene on campus.  But now, as I'm bracing myself for "the real world," or as I like to put it, "life after Hamilton," I'm starting to see what all the talk is about.
    This past weekend, I knew alumni were visiting, but I was still very surprised to see how many alumni there actually were.  There were alumni from all over, old and young, wandering around campus, reading the Spectator and even eating in the dining halls.  And, there were a ton of events -- there was an alumni reception for seniors, and all kinds of performances, workshops, meetings and sports games.
    The first event of the weekend for me was an improv workshop.  Both of the alumni were members of Yodapez, Hamilton's improv troupe, and it was really great to see them again.  One of them was a senior when I was a freshman, and the other actually graduated a couple years before I came to Hamilton.  Then, later in the day, I sat in on a rehearsal for a performance that featured even more alumni.  Called Love is in the Air, the show was written by a Hamilton alum, and is produced by a company created by Hamilton alumni...and, last but not least, Hamilton alumni perform in the show too.  The show has been successful in New York, and even was accepted into the Fringe Festival last summer, and so it was a really great opportunity to be able to see it here on campus.
    On Saturday, I was able to reconnect with friends who were just visiting for the weekend.  Some of them I knew through theatre, while others I knew through my sorority, and others were just friends I had known from going to school with them.  Talking with them reassured me about leaving college and getting started on life after Hamilton, and it was fantastic to learn about all they've been doing since they left.  Some are working on their master's degrees, while others are working at internships and jobs, and others are just working at living their dreams.
    Now I know that might sound strange-- living their dreams?  Come on.  ...But actually, I was surprised at how happy alumni were with their post-Hamilton careers.  One alum who I was talking with works in outdoor education, and was talking about all the fun stuff he gets to do for his job.  (Okay, so he does have office work...but he also gets to play outside!)  Another alum was telling me about living on your own, and was really excited to talk about her apartment and life in Boston.  And then there are alumni who have made been doing improv professionally-- which is actually something I want to do!  And that was really great to hear-- although I'm somewhat familiar with the improv community, it's really reassuring to talk to people who are not only doing what I want to do, but share a similar background, having gone to Hamilton.  In fact, I recently met an alum who is one of the founders of my improv troupe-- it was crazy to think that even after so many years, we could talk about this common interest, and I would have a resource for planning the things that I hope to do after I graduate.
    Even tonight, a couple days after Volunteer weekend has come to a close, another alumna is coming to visit to talk with students abour careers in journalism.  Although I'm not planning a career in journalism, I am still very excited to see her-- she is one of the founders of my sorority, and also one of my good friends.  It's great to know that you can still keep in touch with friends after they graduate, and I'm really excited to hear about all that she's accomplished after only a year out of college.             
   Meeting so many alumni and talking with them has not only been fun, but I think it's also been very helpful for me as I prepare for this transition from Hamilton student to Hamilton alumna.  Certainly, I'm looking forward to experiencing so many new things after I graduate...but I'm also looking forward to sharing those experiences with Hamilton students, just as other alumni have done for me.  I love Hamilton, and I'm going to be sad to leave, but all of this just serves to remind me that even if I can't relive my college experience, I can at least come back to visit!