The idea of graduating next year scares me. To be whisked away to the world of gray and eight-hour days does not sound appealing. I feel as if I literally have only a year and a half to have fun. After my final walk on the stage by the lagoon wearing that symbolic gown with a tassel hanging to the left of my face, I will be bombarded by bigger problems than getting a mediocre grade on my ecology midterm or missing work because of the most massive body-numbing hangover ever. Once I finally throw that flattened hat to the sky, the idea of careers, marriage and babies will fill my mind and overwrite any plans for creating a shitshow in celebration of exams being over. So, for my last year and a half at UCSB, I want to experience everything that attending college on this gorgeous campus has to offer! Who knows, maybe I’ll develop a different view about life after UCSB.
I don’t want to call the list of experiences I want to endure a “bucket list” because I don’t see graduation as the beginning of the ultimate end. But imagine feeling that rush of endorphins when singing the national anthem at a soccer game or having a picnic with three of your closest friends on the top of Storke Tower! Everyone has different ideas of what is interesting, but I want to be completely immersed in everything UCSB until I can legitimately call myself an alumna. I want to attend at least one home game of every sport and volunteer my time for the Associated Students elections next year. I went to Cal Poly with the Gaucho Locos for the men’s soccer team’s epic win during the second overtime having known none of the Locos personally and yet feeling completely included when singing chants at the field. I am living the true Del Playa experience this quarter with rats in my kitchen and my nocturnal neighbors blasting eclectic music from their balconies.
I invite everyone to create their own list of endeavors they wish to taste at UCSB. I have a friend who recently picked up fencing and another who joined a sorority during her third year after considering rushing since the first week of freshman year. College is supposed to be the best four years of life, so why not fulfill every ambition you recently pondered or have been lingering over since freshman year? You might find something you are intensely passionate about that may carry on later in life. Or you might just relish the memory of streaking down Sabado Tarde with three cops slowly chasing after you! You may even want to save these memories and tell your grandchildren!
Graduation will not be the metaphorical tombstone of fun, but the excuse of being a college student will not be applicable at a real job. You’re only in college for four years, but you are a Gaucho for life!
I hate it when people say that college is supposed to be the best four years of your life. No it’s not. College is all about sleep deprived torture, intellectual self-discovery, and all out general suffering while you try to land a high paying job or move on to graduate school for even more grueling labor. Whenever I catch myself having fun, it’s signals to me that I’m not studying hard enough. I’m really going to miss these all-nighters, and I mean that.
(Rising up on his cane)
Kid, you’ll miss the beach. And the comfortable clothes. And the walkable town. And all the pretty people. And the friends. And the beer, so much of it free…
And if you don’t miss any of that, it’ll be because your soul is broken.
Go to beach and stop whining. Why when I was your age…
(Wheezes, rattles, sits back down and stares into the distance with a tear in his eye.)