Alumni Incoming: Five foolproof escape routes

    This weekend, Northwestern will be swarmed with alumni for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. Alums are way too old to party and reminisce with students about their golden days, but when they approach though, you can’t be rude. These old timers could offer you a job one day! Here’s some ways to keep it friendly without getting too close.

    1.  You’re 15 minutes late to your 20-person Chinese class…

    The Situation: You’re walking down Sheridan Road towards University Hall. It’s 11:55 a.m. and you’ve only just left Bobb. A balding man with glasses sporting a Medill shirt walks up to you. He waves his hand to get your attention.  

    The man begins to ask you if you’re a student and how has the experience been so far and how he used to trek down Sheridan. You just nod your head thinking how mad your professor will be.

    The Escape Route: Find a friend and pass the well-meaning alum off with a – “Hey, I actually have to run. I’m late for one of my classes, but my friend can probably talk to you.”

    Introduce your friend and sprint the rest of the way down Sheridan.

    2.  An alum hits on you at a bar…

    The Situation: It’s Thirsty Thursday and you and your friends decide to kick off the weekend at a bar. You and your friends pregame before so by the time you arrive at the bar, you’re a bit tipsy. Since you and your friends got carried away and the Uber was late to pick you up, you get to the bar at an optimal peak time. The bar is swarmed, the dance floor is crowded and it is hot as hell. You and your friends decide to grab a couple of drinks and then head out to dance.

    Once on the floor with your friends, you feel someone grinding up against you. Eventually, you hear your dance partner whispering into your ear, “What year did you graduate?”

    The Escape Route: Tell the alum that you're in a relationship* to get yourself out of this creepy and uncomfortable situation. (*This is tricky feminist territory, but you gotta do what you gotta do.)

    3.  You’re hungover as hell…

    The Situation: It’s Friday morning and you just finished your only class of the day. Your eyes are watery, everything is spinning, and you can barely form a coherent sentence with your dry lips. Right as you’re about to leave the classroom, a woman walks in.  

    “Were you just in this lecture?” she asks.

    You just nod your head and look at the clock. One less minute of sleep. 

    “Isn’t it great? I took this lecture back in the day and it was life-changing! Do you still learn…” 

    The Escape Route: Honestly, just stick it out. This woman has probably waited all year to come to Northwestern and relive her past. Worst comes to worst, you say something that doesn’t make any sense, but who cares? Most likely you won’t be seeing this woman ever again.

    4.  You’re hammered at the football game…

    The Situation: Northwestern just scored a touchdown. You and your friends are screaming, waving your hands all over and chanting the fight song. Once the song ends, you and your friends high five each other. Suddenly, a balding, thirty-something-year-old ex-frat boy reaches a hand toward you and gives you a high five.

    With dawning realization, you look around at the adults surrounding you. You’re in the wrong section!

    The Escape Route: Run over to the student section to be with your people.

    5.  You’re in the library studying for an exam…

    The Situation: You have a midterm coming up and you’ve barely had time to study this past week. You finally have time today to hit the books and decide to camp out in Mudd for the next six hours. You’re deep into studying when you pick up your head and see a bug-eyed woman staring right at you.  

    “Hi! Do you go here?” the woman screams.

    The Escape Route: Pull the "studying" card, then dive back into your books headfirst.
    Hopefully in 20 years, you'll be as happy to be a Northwestern alum as that woman clearly was.


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