Before you graduate you should probably know…

Kelly Skahan

Last weekend’s Homecoming festivities drew thousands of alumni back to the Villanova area for various events. The alumni tents in the Pavilion, the Homecoming game, deals at local restaurants and opportunities to see old friends brought graduates back to the University in droves.

In a few years, it will be our turn to take over campus for a weekend and reminisce about our college days. There is a fine line, though, between coming back to see old friends and wearing out your welcome.

That said, it’s pretty easy to walk that line without incident, as long as you’re respectful of the alumni who have gone before you and the students still on campus.

The most important thing to remember is that you really aren’t in college anymore, so some of the things you might have laughed off at school aren’t really that funny post-graduation. “Thirsty Thursday” is now a thing of the past, and it’s definitely not classy to wander campus in a stupor. You may no longer be underage, but that’s no reason to drink to excess during Homecoming.

Second, realize that though Homecoming is a great chance to mingle and meet up with your friends from school, there are some events meant just for students and some events meant just for alumni. Don’t be one of the alumni who invites a huge contingency of undergrads to the alumni and family picnic. Asking a friend or two to tag along is usually all right, but the event is really intended for graduates and their families (including children).

All that said, Homecoming allows you a lot of opportunities to do things that weren’t necessarily available when you were a student. The father-son basketball session (which is also open to mothers and daughters) includes an autograph signing with the team and Jay Wright as long as you bring along a kid between first and eighth grades. University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., also hosts an informal lunch to meet up with alumni.

The weekend is also a great chance to visit with your former classmates when you’re just out of school. This year, for the Class of ’03’s five-year reunion, there were informal nights at Brownies, brunches specifically for that class and a picnic on Saturday afternoon. There’s no shame in re-living your college days for a few nights, but be sure to remember there’s a big difference between a night at the bars when you’re a senior and that same night when you’re 27.

Realize that you can give back to the University while you enjoy Homecoming as well. During the first 10 years after your graduation, a $150 yearly donation to Villanova’s Annual Fund scores you tickets to the Homecoming game, free food and drink vouchers and a souvenir from the weekend. While that’s quite a chunk of change the first year or two after graduation, by the time you hit the five-year mark, it’s a little more doable and a great way to make the food and drink you’d buy anyway work for the University.

Finally, let Homecoming Weekend be what it is – a return home. All of the events are meant to let alumni feel at home at Villanova even after graduation. Homecoming is the best example of the University welcoming alumni and letting them reminisce about the school in the past and embrace it as it moves into the future, and that’s something everyone can agree on.