To anyone reading this who hasn’t attempted to earn a college degree in an age where your life’s worth is based on what you know, who you know, how little sleep you get at night, and a certificate to prove it, you might be surprised what today’s 20-somethings are expected to manage. I don’t even pay my own cell phone bill, yet I have a to-do list that weighs more than I do. And I’ve been stress eating.
This week I have the first drafts of three final papers due and a poem analysis to present. I just started a new job and am working theatre tech almost every night for the next two weeks. All while keeping up with this damn column.
But I take mild comfort in knowing I am not alone in my stress-ridden, sleep-deprived existence. You know how I know I’m not alone?
I know that because no one on this goddamn campus will shut up about how awful his or her week, month, semester and/or entire existence is. Well, newsflash, that’s what college is. The classes are supposed to be challenging. It’s supposed to suck in some aspects. It’s not a damn cakewalk. Ladies and gentlemen, your kindergarten graduation has long since passed and no one here gets a trophy at the end of it for simply participating.
No one graduates magna cum laude, walks off the stage and says, “Well, that was easy.” I’ve never graduated from college, but my past two years give me the idea that there’s at least one gratuitous person falling to their knees after walking off the stage, exclaiming something along the lines of “oh sweet Christ, it’s finally over!”
My intuition tells me a lot of my peers can concur.
So why can’t any of you shut up about it? Higher education is tough for everyone involved — which is why I don’t see the point in verbalizing what everyone around you already knows.
I have a lot of trouble understanding the philosophy behind these types of complaints. Please don’t tell me how hard you think college is, expecting sympathy. Especially when I, and everyone else on this campus, am experiencing the exact same phenomenon. And in case you forgot, college is 100 percent voluntary. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m quite certain that there is no law requiring you to attend. If you hate it so much, there is the option of quitting — and you don’t have to fill out an application for that.
Did it ever occur to anyone that complaining about a list of stuff to do is the least productive thing one could possibly do in such a situation? You could have taken the precious 90 seconds you spent spouting off to someone who clearly does not give a single flying fart about anything but her afternoon plans — which may or may not include re-watching David Fincher’s 1999 silver-screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club from a deep, jasmine-scented bubble bath for the third time this month — and gotten some shit done. But you didn’t. You wasted your time, and, more importantly, you wasted mine.