We are brilliant.
At the ripe age of 18 — and in many cases even younger — we discovered a word so flexible, so generic and so damn sexy that we would never need to use another word again.
Gone were the days of “Oh, I’m doing all right,” and “Pretty good, you?” Gone were the days of thinking up an appropriate adjective to describe a vacation or a class. Never again would we have to wait in suspense to learn of a friend’s condition.
When this magic word seeped into our vocabulary, it was like we took a leaf blower to our brains, clearing out all the hyperbolic junk and barf words (like “barf”). We saw the light, and suddenly, we were…
For me, it happened freshman year, somewhere within the first week (I know, I can’t believe I remember anything from my first week of college, either). I came back from the ODC (not to be confused with OCD, or “The OC” — both tragic disorders affecting the frontal lobe), entered my dorm room and asked my roommate what was up. I think it went something like this:
“What’s up, man?”
“Uh, chilling (cough), chillin’ man.”
It was my first time, and I felt as if I had just compromised my dignity like the time some guy offered my friend a hand job for five bucks in the halls of San Nic at three in the morning. And he consented! No, he didn’t, but he was a horny son of a bitch, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had.
Anyways, back to my integrity. I felt dirty, and I vowed to never utter the word again, or for that matter, its adjective and noun form. After all, my momma didn’t raise no fool.
I soon noticed that my noble posturing would quickly place me in the minority at UCSB. It was like drugs, but worse — everybody was doing it.
Two years later, the inner struggle continues. Every now and then I slip, usually when I’m tired or when I don’t want to talk to you. At these points, I’m chillin’, or not-wantin’-to-associate. For the most part, though, I try as hard as I can to raise my vocabulary’s bar. I am confident if more people join me, we will undergo a global “warmin'” — in the good sense.
I worry a lot about our generation. I worry more about winning my next intramural softball game, but I still worry. After four years of higher learning, many guys I know are still chillin’ — that is, unemployed, broke and half-baked. Intellectuals call us as the most dumbed-down generation to date, and as much as I would like to disagree, I am starting to see their point.
I’m not trying to start a revolution of the mind, though that would be righteous. All I’m saying is shut up with the chillin’ already.
Yesterday it was announced that next year’s incoming class will be the brightest ever in our school’s rich (not literally), surprisingly stupid (literally), history. Hopefully the next crop’s SAT scores were carried by the verbal side, rather than the math side, but I doubt that will be the case. It is up to us, the old, thoroughly hip, increasingly intelligent to tell them “No, bad” when they describe to us the first 18 years of their life with that one dreadful word.
This is me leaving.
Though the evening will most likely yield a whole lot of sitting around half-baked with the unemployed and the broke, you better believe Daily Nexus sports editor Chris Trenchard will find an alternative means of describing it.