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How to Bond With The Illini Alumni at Your Family Reunion

Looking forward to your upcoming summer family reunion? Of course not! Family reunions are basically funerals with a little less social instruction, resulting in abundant awkwardness. But as a current Illini, you are sure to have some hopefully not-so-distant relatives who also have orange and Blue Guys through their veins. Here’s how you can bond with the Illini alumni in your family in the middle of a forest preserve you rented out for the day.


5.) Ask Them What it’s Like to Have Good Sports Teams:

Good…at sports? You can’t relate, but the old timers in your Illini circle of relatives certainly can. As for Illini football, use buzz words such as “Red Grange,” which sounds like the name of a cologne, and “Dick Butkus,” which sounds like the name of a severely bullied child, to get them reminiscing about the old days. For the younger alumni, simply say the phrase “2005 Arizona vs. Illinois basketball game” and your family reunion will get lit.


4.) Ice Out (Excessively):

Don’t think the timeless art of icing out has been lost on these geezers! They may have forgotten the name of the girl they dated in college for two years, but icing out is reflex memory at this point. Get ultra-lit with your new friends by peer pressuring them to ice out all of their drinks, and laugh at the losers around you who aren’t drunk at a wholesome family event.


3.) Reminisce About KAM’s Hookups:

KAM’s has been around since the Stone Age, so it’s a great conversation point when talking to awkward alumni. It’s a little known fact that 30 years ago not only marks the birth of The Home of the Drinking Illini™, but coincidentally, also the invention of OTPHJs. The alumni at your family reunion have experienced countless drunken OTPJHs, makeouts and sloppy lap dances on the sticky KAM’s dancefloor. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, eh?


2.) Make Fun of Engineering Students;

It may be low-hanging fruit, but shitty jokes about engineering majors at UIUC must be told at your family reunion one way or another. There are bound to be one or two rich engineers in your family, so gang up on them with the rest of your poorer during bean bags and potato sack racing. Make sure to point out that they have no social skills and still run like they’re lugging a heavy backpack across the Engineering Quad; it’ll make you feel a little better about yourself.


1.) Ask Them Who They Know Here:

This frat party phrase is sure to trigger something deep inside their psyche. But seriously: who do they know here? Because you know no one and all the old people keep saying that they remember you from when you were just a naked baby. Pretty creepy. Have your fellow Illini help you maneuver the confusing maze that is your family reunion, at least until you get drunk enough to no longer care about social mores.


Family reunions are arguably the WOAT, but finding former Illini who can bitch about things like The White Ho and (its beloved Karaoke Wednesday nights) closing can make it a little less painful. Don’t forget the golden rule: any ISU students at your family reunion must be imposters and should be moved from the premises immediately.

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