As all of you have undoubtedly noticed, it has taken me longer than usual to do a post. This hasn’t been for lack of trying or inspiration, it has simply been because it’s exam time. For me, that means devoting about 30% more time to school work, and about 45% more time to sitting in a room alone and having anxiety about school work. With that in mind, here is why I think University can be a life-crushing succubus that eats time and shits Degrees.
Here is a quick sample of what I assume goes on on Friday nights for everyone that isn’t in school and doesn’t have kids yet.
[Interior; Dance Club. Colourful strobing lights and loud, thumping music playing in the background]
Guy 1: Hey man! pass me another round of drugs and boobs!
Guy 2: Hell yeah, here you go man! I love drugs and boobs! I can’t believe we get to have them every weekend!
Girl 1 : Bring me more penises! Let’s go skydiving!
Girl 2: Yay! Drunk skydiving sex!
All: PARTY ROCKERS IN THE HOOUUUSE TONIIIGGGHT!
Okay, that might not be the most accurate representation of what goes on on Friday nights, but when you contrast it with what is going on in my head most Friday nights, you can understand the lack of accuracy. Here’s a sample of a common inner-monologue for me on a Friday night.
[Interior, Dark basement, soft-but noticeable buzz of furnace kicking on and off]
Internal Monologue : …okay…so if we have analytic and synthetic propositions, then a priori truth claims would match…I wonder if anyone has updated facebook…nope…what about twitter….ha, that’s a good tweet from Patton Oswalt, I’ll retweet that…okay, so a priori truth claims come before the proposition…oh, I wonder if TheChive has any new pictures up…
You get the idea.
2. Good at School/Shitty at Life
Not long ago, I was about half way through a rather tough paper where I had to re-state a dense metaphysical position in my own words. I took a break to grab some dinner, but I kept thinking about the paper the whole time. While praising myself for being able to figure out this paper so well, I managed to put a large helping of coleslaw onto my plate and microwave it. I don’t suggest that anyone does this. I was too ashamed to admit my stereotypically nerdy mistake, so I cowered back to my basement and slowly ate the warm mayonnaise and cabbage while seriously re-evaluating my own self-worth.
Point being, due to the need for me to be in my head so much, I make mistakes like this all the time. See Also: mixing whites with colours (with laundry, I mean, not in busses or classrooms – I’m cool with that), driving well past my exits on the freeway, consistently forgetting at least one thing I need every time I leave the house, and mistaking expired yogurt for sour cream and only noticing it half way through eating a plate of perogies.
3. Shitty Profs
The trouble is, most courses depend entirely on the professor for how enjoyable, informative, and rewarding they are. If you have a good prof, then you’re set. Having a shitty prof, however, is sometimes like having to spend 4 months with an annoying cousin that thinks he’s smarter than you – except this cousin gets to choose 20% of all of your activities for those 4 months, and if you don’t do them to his (usually arbitrary) standards, he gets to jeopardize your future by lowering your GPA.
Yes, shitty bosses suck, and you likely will be with them longer. The difference is, your bosses pay you. Having a shitty professor is like paying 500 bucks for someone to shit in your ears once a week for 12 weeks in a row. For those of you that find this idea appealing – then I suggest taking Sociology.
4. Everyone hates you / You hate everyone
That epic burn on Sociology brings me to my last point: that anyone who takes their academic studies seriously will eventually regard theirs as the superior one. This is just as much a function of people tending to think that their form of life is the best one, but with academia, you are given more ways to defend this view. This won’t necessarily last forever, but around 2nd year, you may notice yourself becoming dismissive of other areas of study. In the Sciences, Physics like to think it is the truest form of study, followed by chemistry and biology, and they all collectively laugh at the soft or human sciences. All of the humanities arbitrarily favour humanities in general, shrugging off the sciences because they lack heart or passion or whatever. Meanwhile, Math and Philosophy just kind of stand in the corner and mumble about being better than all of them. Oh, and let’s not forget that most people doing vocational training will mock you for completely wasting your time.
If you don’t fall into those traps, you’re still going to be alienated from people who don’t go to school because it takes up so much of your time, and you won’t have that much in common with people that work full time for a living. Bottom line is, after you find the area of study you like and the professors that you like within that study, you are going to be pretty isolated. A lot of people are going to think you’re either an elitist or an idiot, and you’re going to think those people are poor, misguided fools.
So, if you’re a committed University student, you are going to spend most of your time in class, thinking about class, or doing assignments for class. If you don’t like those kinds of activities, you’re going to have a tough go, and at this point, it isn’t the only option for having a viable career.
Why do I do it? Because I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else, really. As for missing out on partying or other opportunities – well, no one parties like University students after exam time – Not because we are better at it, but because we just need it more.