>>> The Scholarly Tabloid
By staff writer Et Nola
December 3, 2006

“Trivial Enlightenment from Beginning to Zen”

The problem with being high on college life is that at some point your high is destined to come down. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always come down alone. In my case, my high has come down with a severe case of senioritis. The prognosis isn’t good—I think I’m going to have to graduate. Of course, I still have a semester left of undergrad to go, but I can’t help but take note of how differently people treat their last days in college.

For many of us, the reality is that we’re going to grad school in hopes that we never actually have to get a real job. Of course, the “G-School Crew” isn’t entirely made up of those who just realized the true value of an English degree—some people really want to extend their “education.” Apparently, crafting bottle-cap furniture isn’t as marketable of a skill set as you would believe.

“The fewer the number of classes, the more likely you're going to hear them complain about how impossible they are. “

While those “go-getters” are progressing toward the next level of schooling, others are ready to get the hell away from the classroom for good. Some just don’t see the values of any additional education. I disagree with that part, but I am always up for getting bonuses for sticking with school. Seriously, after spending more than two decades in a classroom you should get the right to smoke a pipe in class (tobacco or crack, your choice). Other “rewards” should include getting to drop in and “share your knowledge” with any class of students at any school of your choosing. Rather than just be guest lecturers, you’d be someone who has “been through the same hangovers and eaten the same paste that they did.” I would have loved to have had such wisdom as a toddler. Think of what you could teach the kindergarteners.

Since perks of (hopefully) making more money and dodging responsibilities aren’t enough for everyone, many future grads are preparing for “new” and “exciting” careers. Oddly, the preparation for both parties reaches an anxiety threshold—oh, let’s say right about two paragraphs ago. The thought of graduating and having to “move on” is one of the worst topics you could ever bring up—unless you’re doing something awesome like directing full-length feature films of Muppet and/or “furniture porn.” With Trey Parker and Matt Stone cornering the market on marionettes, you’re going to have to be even more genius to break into the biz. Good luck though. Of course, that leaves the rest of us to find other exciting things to do with the rest of our lives, like ritualistic suicide or vegetable-shaped origami.

With GMAT reviews and LSAT practice tests all cluttering up my schedule, I still find it amazing how some people address their final semester. For starters, there are those individuals who put the “super” in super-senior. These are dedicated drunks who are barely enrolled full-time (if even enrolled at all). These “champions of procrastination” have a full load, if you include the 23 hours a day they aren’t in class as an “extracurricular.” The fewer the number of classes they're taking, the more likely you're going to hear them complain about how impossible those classes are. “Oh my god, my international relations teacher actually expects us to be able to identify Iraq on a map!” No, my idiot friend, he only expects the people who will actually pass to identify Iraq. He’s expecting you to be topless and dancing to “Fergie-licious” by next fall. Don’t fret, you’ve got a very competitive drinking portfolio. With such heavy drinking, there’s little time for you to focus on the only class you have.

Not everyone is as undedicated as the above example. In fact, some people are a bit too dedicated for my tastes. This would be the select few who thought it “might be nice” to take a course they aren’t particularly good in as a way of getting more out of their college experience. To those of you who selected such an option, I’d just like to know how far you get into the semester before you conceded how horrible of an idea it was. Will it be the second after you confirm your schedule? Will you hold out until everyone else is spending weeknights playing “Who wants a beer?” as you sit through your first reading of Aeschylus? Cheers. I’m sure your friends have a pool on when you’ll break. I’ve got $20 on you giving up during midterms or, more precisely, what you’ll refer to as “fucking-midterms-during-my-last-semester” (one word). Don’t hold out in spite of me. Choose wisely as soon as possible.

Regardless of where you are in your “preparation” for the next chapter in your life, I’d like to send out some love to everyone entering their last semester of undergrad. You’ve made it this far. Here’s to screwing it all up at the last moment. I’m just kidding. Really, I wish you well even though I have another $20 that says differently.

Check out the blog for a special series on graduating in style. You’re guaranteed not to learn anything if you don’t want to.