So, this is it. Graduation is in four weeks. By the end of June, most of us seniors will have left sunny Santa Barbara and Isla Vista will become a fondly tucked-away memory. Excessively boozy nights will be replaced by late evenings and later-night TV. If Stephen Colbert isn’t your best friend by now, he will be soon. You young’uns can’t relate to the concept of leaving university just yet, but your academic careers are creeping toward this final, ultimate demise of adolescence. Four years go by fast. With the flurry of tests and papers and roommate drama, we forget that UCSB is not our permanent stomping ground. Rather, many of us pitch comfortable campsites for these college years and struggle to understand why old people constantly say that these were the best years of their lives. Let’s hope that’s not true.
With only a few weeks left, I’m intent upon cramming as much into my final college days as temporally possible. I regret never having climbed to the top of Storke Tower. I’ve never taken advantage of the Wednesday Wellness Center’s free massage service. I’ve successfully avoided classes involving sections. I never did the I.V. loop. I haven’t eaten at that new Steak and Hoagie place. I never took Bill’s Bus, I’ve never had a class at Embarcadero Hall and I’ve never been to the Channel Islands. We make a lot of plans during college. Measure your success by how many of these plans you actually follow all the way through.
Maybe I never followed through because college tends to make plans for you. I’ve taken some of my life’s most fulfilling naps in the UCen, and was fortunate enough to find my best friend and first love. I’ve gone bodysurfing in 80 degree January weather, watched an endless number of movies, met the best friends I will ever have and some of the craziest people who I never plan on seeing again. I’ve lived in some of the shittiest Isla Vista apartments, complete with sewage problems and a furnace that once singed all the hair off my left arm. And thanks to the wonderful, ever-so-dedicated opinion editor I met last summer, I was given a venue to share the last year with you.
Make your giant mistakes freshman year, because you’ll need to at one point or another. If you’re going to get a drunk-in-public or citation for sassing the IVFP, do it before your second year. Learn your drinking limits. Hell, learn all your limits. For your parents’ sake, get a job and finance your own debauchery. Learn the difference between bad, cheap beer and tolerable beer. Take a sniff of your Natural Light sometime and tell me it doesn’t smell like fishbowl water – after the fish dies and has floated upside down for a week.
By the time you move into I.V. your sophomore year, you should have a good idea of how to do your own laundry. Learn to pay your own bills. Get a box of checks. Work in cash and realize that just because you’re drunk when you swipe that plastic debit or credit doesn’t mean your bank account won’t notice. Keep your grades up – learn to work around the urge to procrastinate. Fall in love hard – not only with your significant other, but also with your major, your friends, the sun and the ocean, despite knowing that you have to leave it behind eventually. Fall in love hard and, no matter how painful in the end, believe for as long as possible that you never have to leave any of it. Find yourself the perfect study spot, be it the fourth floor of the library, Java Jones or the Study Hall. Study for those GREs, MCATs and LSATs early. Give yourself at least six months. It takes about five of those to realize how much you don’t know.
Thanks to my family, my friends, my first love, the Nexus and all of you who’ve shared my column with me this past year. Cling to your college years as hard as Hillary has clung to her flagging campaign. Seacrest Out.