Satire: ‘College is time for new experiences,’ says student who has completely regressed into old habits

There has never been a better time to improve on absolutely nothing

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Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Kelly McMahan, Collegian Contributor/Columnist

Editor’s Note: The following column is satirical. It is meant for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.

For many wide-eyed freshmen, college is the ultimate clean slate. You can finally break free from the embarrassing memories of that angst-ridden, metaphysically debilitating journey that many refer to as “high school.” After all, your roommate never has to know how heavily your diet used to rely on cafeteria mozzarella sticks and iced coffee, or about all of the consistently regrettable friends you made along the way.

The past doesn’t define you, but we all know that the present sure does! So, what behaviors and habits end up transcending the annals of personal history and manifesting into our collegiate lives?

We talked to sophomore political science major Jack Figueroa, who apparently spends many hours each week at the W.E.B. Du Bois library. “It’s my first year on campus and I’m taking advantage of it,” Figueroa said. “I used to spend hours at home just hopelessly procrastinating. It was bad.”

Last week, Figueroa frequented the fifth floor’s silent study section. Our reporters observed as his Moodle homepage remained open and unchanged while he sat in his spinny desk chair, slowly revolving in tiny circles.

Library volunteer Maria Chush said that she sees Figueroa almost every day. “I mean he comes in here and does literally everything besides homework, and it’s not like he’s just on his phone. Sometimes he plays solitaire,” Chush said.

One time, Chush watched him play Monopoly against himself. “That game lasted like four hours. I think there was one time he even came in here with a hot plate and cooked himself a five-course meal.”

“But y’know what?” Chush pointed to the sign on the door reading “Silent Study.” “He never makes a sound.”

For freshman Jessica Noh, new college life coincides with technological upgrades. “I used to be extremely disorganized in high school, but now I have my own MacBook!” Noh said. Her 13-inch retina display screen provided us with a clear view of every single one of her 117 Chrome tabs.

“It’s got a processor with 16 gigs of RAM, but it’s been really slow lately for some reason,” Noh added. When our reporters followed up about the number of tabs she had open in Safari, Noh declined to comment.

For some students, the allure of college is all about getting to know other people.

“I came here really excited to step out of my comfort zone for once so I could experience the campus’s rich social life,” beamed freshman English major Gareth Singleton. When asked if he had experienced the campus’s rich social life, Singleton said he hadn’t.

Freshmen Ty Wan and James Zethro are roommates in the Commonwealth Honors College informatics and computer science residential academic program. During move-in week, they made the joint decision to go for a run every morning.

“I didn’t walk very much over the past year, so we started jogging to Berk for breakfast,” Wan said. “That was okay for the first week.”

Ty suggested that he and Wan try jogging from Oak Hall to Van Meter. Zethro said that they had taken one too many steps up that indomitable, winding hill. Wan’s legs gave out. Zethro tried to run over to his fallen comrade, but he, too, was depleted of both strength and spirit. They collapsed into a sweaty pile of defeat, a valiant, tragic picture of willpower that was ultimately futile in the end.

“Yeah, so we don’t jog anymore,” Wan said. “Actually, I don’t think I’ve gotten up before 9:30 a.m. once since class started.”

College can be wholly transformative when it wants to be, and there are certainly plenty of opportunities to create new habits. You should still be honest with yourself (if that’s your thing). Keep in mind that if you do fall short of your expectations, you will most certainly be in good company.

Kelly McMahan can be reached at [email protected]