A Case of Recklessness: Don’t Make Me Graduate

In the wreckage of a dozen stray feathers and at least three cans of Four Loko, she came to a somber realization that morning. Graduation was just a few weeks off, and the day prior — she began to understand — was really the last hurrah. There would be no more spray painting of secondhand T-shirts; no resourceful mixing of off-brand alcohol in discarded water jugs; most certainly, there would be no more frolicking in the Price Center fountain. Sun God was over, and the unique kind of merry, don’t-give-a-fuck collegiate revelry it represents was, too. I didn’t really understand her then. I was halfway through college. I had at least a few secondhand T-shirts and water cooler jugs before me. Understanding her revelation in a detached, sympathetic kind of way, I nodded, and told her to come back for the festival next year. Her wristband would be waiting. Another friend of mine, a year after graduation told me what she missed was just walking around campus. Ambling. Running into people she knew. Dodging the myriad crusaders for baby seals, Jesus Christ and Korean BBQ on Library Walk. Passing a whole afternoon in a way that you can’t when you’re working 9 to 5. She missed the aimlessness. It goes without saying that graduation doesn’t connote what it used to. We’ve been reminded a thousand times by now that we’re not leaving college for cushy careers, suburban mortgages or, thank God, marriage. We stay young a little longer. But based on the experiences of those a couple of years ahead of me, I also don’t think it’s quite as bad out there as it’s been made out to be. Colorful tales abound of Princeton grads using their International Studies degrees for nothing but learning Japanese coffee-brewing techniques; of Dartmouth co-eds reciting “would you like fries with that?” in Spanish. Until I really need to master the conditional tense myself, I’m still unconvinced. The advice I wish I’d taken more seriously these last two years, though, and which I think most of us could use at UCSD, is to shirk a little more responsibility. To show up to class on three hours’ sleep. To be less accountable. You’re saddled down by a few obligations while you’re here, sure, but ultimately it isn’t nearly so much as what awaits. So really: Why not sip the Popov-spiked Kool-Aid? Experimenting doesn’t take the same form for everybody. You’re not obligated to go to a drum circle or suffer through a vegan phase, or pre-game the Friday-night water polo game with a water bottle of raspberry Smirnoff. You don’t need to play beer pong. But while I’m trying out new Crockpot recipes and catching up with the ladies of “The View,” do appreciate the fleetingness of the opportunity. It doesn’t last as long as you expect.


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