Be True to Your School?

Posted May 28, 2011 by Marcy Twete in Women's Issues
A few months ago, I found myself in a room with a group of people most of whom had attended the same college as they talked about their college experience. I found myself disturbed (and I use that word quite intentionally) by their attachment to their college experience. Their nostalgia was overwhelming! And more than that, their obsession with their college, specifically it being considered very close to “Ivy League” was more than a little disrespectful to someone who didn’t go to an Ivy League school.

Still, when I hear people wax nostalgia about their universities, I’m not only confused, I’m annoyed, and I’m not sure why. Truthfully, I enjoyed college, I liked my classes and my school. But five years later, I don’t have an emotional attachment to the school. I have the same feeling about my high school. I have no interest to attend a reunion, I keep in touch with the people I want to keep in touch with intentionally, and I just can’t muster up a whole lot of “college spirit.”

One of the pieces of advice I’d give to young women is that your college doesn’t really matter. With determination, drive and relentless ambition, whether you went to a small community college or the most prestigious Ivy League university, you can be successful and rise to the top of your industry. Will a prestigious school get you your first job more quickly? Maybe. But even that name can’t substitute for great internships, phenomenal networking and a work ethic second to none.

So what do you think, readers? Am I off my rocker? Is it normal to be so attached to your alma mater? Or am I more “normal” in my feeling of saying thanks for the memories, but no more nostalgia?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."


    Julie Foster

    Hi CCG!I am very impressed by all of your info. interviews in Chicago as well as networking events. I'd love to hear how you've been introduced to so many people to meet with. Have you blogged about your "secrets"? I'm shy and the thought of this makes me ill! But, at a job that's making me unhappy I am looking at also switching jobs and cities. Thanks!


    I'm kind of curious whether these people went to grad school, too… I read recently that people who went to grad school overwhelmingly give money (annual fund, or whatever) to their undergrad school and nothing to their grad school. This got me thinking that maybe this is either related or some sort of off-shoot of that.

    Using myself as an example, I liked my college quite a bit and think I had a great experience. But if the topic came up in conversation, I'd be much more likely to wax poetic about my experience at Hamline than my time at Mitchell.


    I am with you – I have little emotional attachment to the college I went to. I don't hate it and I enjoyed my college years, but I'm not all wrapped up in the awesome-ness of the university. It was just a school, really.

    And quite frankly, I'd appreciate it if they stopped asking my broke self for donations! I've been out of school for two years…I'm not a millionaire yet, spend time asking more qualified people for money!

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