Alma Maters – Get Involved!
Even if college was not the favorite time of your life, re-engaging with your alma mater at this stage of life has several advantages that merit your consideration.
First off, your involvement will be welcomed. All colleges value their alumni and view them as “ambassadors” who are an important part of their outreach to potential applicants. Most universities have well-structured internal departments who focus exclusively on past graduates and they offer many different ways to re-connect.
By becoming more visible to your alma mater, you will likely have access to educational programs and even discounts on many lifestyle services. These offerings can include wonderful trips with fellow graduates that are organized by the university and often led by scholars. Reunions on campus (and locally) will put you in contact with people your age who share similar experiences, making it easy to “connect.”
Being an active alum is also a great example for your grandchildren and can help them orient themselves to a collegiate destination. Taking the family to a college athletic event is a great way to spend quality time with them and it is wonderfully exciting to be surrounded by cheering students.
And while being an engaged alumnus certainly can’t hurt if one of your grandkids wants to apply as an undergraduate, don’t count on it being a highly determinative factor. Unless you donate a building, there are really no “sure things” when it comes to admissions these days.
Oh, and even if you didn’t graduate from college, you can often become involved in a university by contacting Parent’s Groups at your children’s university!
In our Suddenly Solo book, we suggest that wearing a hat or tee shirt from your (or your children’s) alma mater can often lead to interesting and unexpected introductions!