COLUMN: Alabama to the Auburn Family

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I transferred to Auburn University about a year-and-a-half ago from the University of Alabama with my tail between my legs.

I’d spent my life as a Bammer and a die-hard Auburn hater. But looking back, I regret nothing about the choice I made to transfer to this cow college, and if you’re reading this, I can only assume you’ve made the right choice from the outset.

I’m reminded of something my lifelong-Auburn-fan friend said as we were enjoying the downtown nightlife one night and discussing my turncoat-ness.

“It’s not a cult when you’re in it.”

I used to “joke” about the pretentious Auburn Family (capital ‘F’, always a capital ‘F’) and compare it to a cult, which is not an entirely un-true comparison.

The Family is definitely a thing. It’s a far-from-perfect thing that probably needs a long while before it truly feels like a Family to all, but it’s a thing nonetheless.

Beware of when people, including-and-especially the University, exploit the concept of the Family for their own gain and comfort.

There are gigantic issues with inclusion here like there are all across this state and country, and all too often they will trot out the concept as a catch-all to show that there’s really nothing to see here — we’re all one big happy Family.

But it’s true, I’ve bought into the concept of the Family in a way I never thought I would and never felt at Bama.

Football games in Tuscaloosa may be rowdier, but the town of Auburn is lovely and uniquely tight-knit.

I think that is why so many alumni choose to return to The Plains decades after graduation and why they are so proud of proclaiming what year they graduated upon their return, lest someone think they’re some sort of carpetbagger.

I recommend you immerse yourself in the distinctive charm of the town, its residents and the University.

Call out the problems when you see them and work to change them. Not everyone feels like it’s a Family, and their feelings are very real and reflective of problems here.

But we, and now you, can do the best to strengthen the bonds of the true Auburn Family and bring as many as possible into the fold.

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