Welcome home, alumni

Emmett Fitzpatrick

Starting tomorrow, thousands of unfamiliar faces will descend upon campus for a weekend of revelry, school spirit and nostalgia that can only be explained by one thing: Homecoming.

Sure, the idea of alumni coming back once a year to buy stuff at the bookstore and relive their college experience seems out-dated and corny.

Yes, the only reason the University would ever allow such a weekend to occur is the possibility that visiting alumni will want to make sizeable donations upon their return.

And yes, I’m aware that Radnor Police will most likely use the weekend as an opportunity to test out new security and enforcement devices usually reserved for President Bush’s War on Terror. After saying all that, I have a confession to make: I can’t wait for Homecoming.

One reason that I’m looking forward to this weekend is so I can listen to alumni tell us how bad their jobs are and how much they wish they were still students here.

If you are bored this weekend, try to count how many times you hear alumni tell you to “enjoy it while it lasts.” Recent graduates (i.e. Classes of 2002-06) will repeat this line with a smile, seeing as most of them are still young enough to pass as college students and can remember vividly their college years. While they may wish to trade places with us, they are still enamored with being single and making money in the real world, so they can still laugh without many reservations.

The farther back the graduation year, however, the more envious the alumni become. In other words, if you happen to start talking to a graduate of the class of 1982, for example, don’t be surprised to see some tears, as he/she will no doubt want to relive the carefree lifestyle of undergraduates.

I also love Homecoming so I can hear alumni tell us about the huge parties that they threw when they were here. After listening to alumni the last few years, I’m convinced that we went to Villanova at the wrong time – after all, when they were here, they hosted parties with 20 kegs that lasted weeks at a time! Chances are, these are the same type of people from our class who just started going out when they turned 21 and still introduce themselves by immediately telling you how many beers they had that night.

You’ll hear stories of guys turning Sullivan Hall into their own personal club, complete with strippers, drink specials and cover charges. One especially drunk alumnus even tried to tell me that when he was here in 1985, our basketball team actually won the national championship!

Before all the alumni reading this begin calling me spoiled and ungrateful, I should say that I fully expect my graduating class to be the same way when we come back for Homecoming. The burning of the garbage dumpsters in the Quad during the final week of sophomore year? Sure, that was a huge event that led to some undeserved suspensions, but think about how crazy that will sound in a few decades.

I can just picture coming back for Homecoming in 2042 and hearing stories from my classmates about burning down Sheehan and Sullivan during an all-month drinking binge during finals week.

The number one reason that I’m looking forward to Homecoming, or the Arrival of the Drunk Alumni, as I like to call it, is the fact that I am not an alumnus. I am not coming home for the weekend – I am home. When all the hung-over alumni wake up on Sunday in the Radnor Hotel, an old fraternity house or, if they’re lucky, Stanford Hall, they will have to drive back to their new homes back to reality. They’ll start worrying again about making sure they put cover sheets on those TPS reports at work, avoiding their five-year-old who just got chicken pox or a myriad of other anxieties that accompany adulthood.

Me, I’ll be able to relax on the couch at my house, and my only responsibility will be putting the finishing touches on yet another brilliant article in The Villanovan. In other words, another Sunday living the dream of being an undergraduate.

I have a feeling I’m not the only Villanova student looking forward to Homecoming and everything that it entails – from the unofficial start of the basketball season to the remarkable transformation of Sheehan Beach that turns our campus into quite a fun place to be, if only for a day.

While our weekend does not quite reach the proportions of high school homecomings like the one featured in “Two-a-Days” or the all-out party atmosphere of state schools, it does feature a bunch of drunk, middle-aged men and women pretending that they are our age.

For that, I’m excited.