It finally happened, after officially graduating over two months ago my old University finally deleted my email account. It’s a sobering experience to have the main tool of the past four years to be removed forever from your control. For a techno-dependent person such as myself, it officially marks the end of college.
I always expected this to happen, even using this eventuality to my advantage. I gave that email out freely, accepting the fact that spammers would surely get hold of it. Why else would I use that email for Ebay? That’s suicide for any account. I still remember the days when it was my main source of communication. My friends and colleagues would send me emails on the rare occasions that I wasn’t logged into Aol Instant Messenger. I’d often correspond with my teachers, pleading for them to accept an assignment despite it being three weeks overdue.
The account was marvelous in that it facilitated communication with anyone. By sophomore year my parents had realized the futility of trying to make me communicate in a manner that didn’t necessitate a keyboard. It could probably be said that it was detrimental to my social development, but who needs that when given the alternative of logging into Pine on the Unix servers?
I remember the first day of classes in my final semester. When the sign-in sheets were passed around class, we’d sign our names and write our email addresses for the professor. By senior year we had learned to abbreviate it to simply our email names without including the typical University server information. What I found striking was when I realized my skepticism whenever I noticed a non-university email address. Suddenly, someone with a Hotmail or Yahoo account was suspicious. I’m not certain what specifically would catch my attention; yet these “other” emails were immediately noticeable to me. It’s obvious that I had engulfed myself in that atmosphere, to a point where outsiders and merely non-traditional students were extraterrestrial. College was a different world.
Now I’m a graduate, or an “alumnus” as the university fund raising committee likes to refer to me. The moment I graduated they mailed a brochure to my home, offering various widgets to remember the school by. A “Class of 2003” yearbook, a commemorative throw rag, there was even a rocking chair with the school logo on the headrest. Despite all these material objects sold to evoke memories of that stage in my life, there was only one asset that I really wanted to bring with me. That was my school email address. Nothing was more storied than JohnDoe@University.edu. That is what I was for four years, and that’s the only thing I’d ever want to remember. It has now been taken from me, and therefore the strings have been cut. Goodbye email address. Despite the nine pornographic emails a day, you were my loyal companion during those tenuous years.
Comments? Criticisms? Empathy? Share your insights with me.