I have had a particularly difficult time writing this, my final article. I wish that I could say that the difficulty is derived from the pressure of capping off two years of fine work, but the truth is that I happen to be brain dead after a night of drinking. I suppose that is not a valid excuse; after all, Hemingway was always drunk and what he managed to produce was halfway decent. As I reflect on the debauchery that was last night and whether this headache was truly worth it, I cannot help but contemplate life after graduation and how different it may be.
“I Hate this Part”
I’ve heard a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’ about students’ displeasure with the choice to have The Pussycat Dolls as our main act for Slope Day. To all you haters, I say: shut it. If there were a mandatory course for complaining and griping at Cornell, I am quite sure it would have a higher mean grade than any COMM course (that’s saying a lot). Slope Day acts cannot please everyone, which only gives the upset more incentive to get blackout drunk, have the time of their lives and then not remember it the next day — just like everyone else. Win–win.
With spring break less than a week away, the most overheard phrase on campus is no longer “That’s what she said” but “Where are you going?” Most have had their plans booked for weeks, if not months, but there still remain stragglers uncertain of where they will be. To those few I say, “Dare to be different.”
The majority of spring breakers intend to travel somewhere that is the complete opposite of Ithaca: warm, sunny, not suicide-inducing and stress-free. For those of you who would prefer to do something a little less cliché, and with fewer meaty, drunk, American fratboys, I offer you the following, more unusual options:
As a senior soon to graduate, I have been reflecting on how much I have grown since matriculating at Cornell. I believe my undergraduate experience can be best summarized with the quotation, “I don’t know if it was heaven or hell, but whatever it was, it was wonderful.” I, like many students, have excelled and failed, found love and lost it, matured, evolved my cognitive processes, better understood myself, and have grown even more handsome (not like many students). Positivity does not sell, though – just look at Ithaca’s own Positive News — it’s free and no one reads it. For that reason, my editor encouraged me to reflect on some of the past four years’ hell.
As spring semester gets under way, the worries of most Cornell seniors are no longer whether the bump on their crotch is an ingrown hair or a herpes sore, but where — and even if — they will work once they graduate. Conversations with students across majors have confirmed that the state of the economy has profoundly affected their prospects. With layoffs of qualified workers at an all time high — inexperienced labor, regardless of if it is Ivy educated, is not what employers seek.
Everyone has his or her faults. I certainly have mine. Lord knows, you have a slew of your own — don’t think going to Cornell erases them, if anything, it exacerbates them. The figurative cracks in everyone’s armor, though, define who and what they are — for better or for worse — while simultaneously making them human. I find that it is not the flawed multitudes that are the most disagreeable, but those few devoid of apparent “issues” or psychoses.
Lately I have been thinking a good deal about the content of individuals’ character. No, not because Monday was Martin Luther King Day, or because yesterday Obama effectively ended racism in America when he was sworn in, but because my sister Alexandra is newly engaged.
“To whom?” you ask.
Yesterday — whether or not the majority of you readers know — was an epic day of importance in the lives of millions of gay men across the United States. No, Proposition 8 was not overturned, nor were laws preventing homosexuals from adopting. Something more directly correlated to these individuals’ happiness occurred: Britney Spears’ latest album, Circus, was released. This happening coincided with the international star’s 27th birthday, and it signifies the beginning of the entertainer’s latest (and most promising) attempt at a comeback.
Like the majority of Cornell seniors, I have begun developing ulcers from anguishing over our uncertain futures. Yes, I am deeply concerned about the present job market, but that is not all.
College is almost over. Living off our parents’ money will be a thing of the past. The puberty of our prolonged adolescence is almost complete. Regular binge drinking is soon to be considered alcoholism. Having to be somewhere before 9 a.m. will no longer be “unreasonable.” We must soon find husbands and wives and then procreate to distract ourselves from how little we actually like our spouses … it is enough to drive the most level-headed student mad.
Last night, well into my fifth hour of scholastic procrastination, I came across a granny talking about “bum sex” on national television. This was a little shocking because she looked like someone who would be Sister Wendy’s co-host on that PBS series about paintings and American museums. Sex Talk With Sue Johanson is a phenomenon that I had never seen; however, a significant number of people in over 20 countries apparently know of her and her senior citizen passion for sex toys, her bluntness and her refusal to be shocked by the Midwestern idiots who call her show.
Two Thursday’s ago, while reading The New York Times’ Thursday Styles insert — the paper’s only section of veritable content — I learned something new: Apparently, the U.S. economy is not doing so hot. I was somewhat shocked to read this, as my life has not noticeably changed in the past year. I was also bewildered that I had not been informed about this seemingly legitimate crisis earlier, and that, especially in this election season, I had not heard anything about it on the news.