Reverse Nostalgia: Rueing my Days of Undergraduate Education

12 Dec

So that’s it; I’ve taken my final classes, turned in all my multicolored forms, purchased my obligatory cap and gown and had the joy of filling out course evaluations for the last time (I take perverse joy in filling out teacher evaluations. seriously, I’m like a really fucked up kid at Christmastime). My last college paper, which I wrote about with such fervor yesterday, now sits completed and printed out in my backpack ready to be turned in tomorrow at 10 AM. That’s all folks. I’m done .

Looking back on my undergraduate education there are certain things I reflect fondly on. I’ve made some excellent friends, had some totally balls-tighteningly awesome professors, and engaged in enough randomness and crazy hijinks to fill at least a triloy of novels. Say what you will about Nebraska, but it does have its high points.

That said, there are more than enough things I’m incredibly excited to see the back of, and even though I don’t doubt that at least a few of them will follow me into the real world, there are plenty that I’m going to be rid of forever the second I get that diploma six days from now. Here are a few of my choice favourites:

Homework

Papers. Review sheets. Fifty pages of reading a night. Group presentations (the most vile of assignments, where you have to rely on OTHER PEOPLE to get a passing grade). Yes, that beast. The thing that truly ruins lives, sleep cycles and sanity levels. Homework assignments, that thing I’ve loathed with a fiery passion since the very first time I was handed a brightly-colored large-lettered worksheet as a small child, innocent and in pigtails and not knowing of the horrors that would befall me and various incarnations of this piece of paper for the next sixteen years.

I’m sure homework will still show up in some form or other if I end up with a certain kind of job. Paperwork is really just a more grown-up way of saying ‘homework’ I guess. But the stuff I’ve had to put up with for the last four and a half years? The fifteen page papers, the reading assignments and peer reviews and midterm exams? Gone. Kaput. Shuffl’d off the mortal coil. That’s it. Good riddance to you homework, and I hope to never see you again.

Class

Class is almost as bad as homework. It’s that extra obligation that sits in the middle of your day, bookended by ‘drop off rent check’ and ‘go work at wage slave job’. Not all class is bad, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been known to look forward to class on some rare occasions, and I’ve met some of my best friends in this academic sphere. That said, having to drag my sorry, (occasionally) hungover ass out of the safe and comfortable realm of my bed to sit in a stuffy/freezing room with two dozen other bedraggled reprobates who just dragged their hungover asses out of bed AND be expected to be coherent is a special kind of hell for me. Good riddance to you class; I spent most of my time inside you wishing I could be somewhere else. (That’s what he said?)

Parking

Dear UNL campus, you utterly fail at organizing your parking structure. Trying to find a place to park in one of your lots was like a middle-schooler behind the bleachers. It sucked, and not in a good way. Lots were constantly overcrowded and a far enough distance from the academic departments that it was god awful to walk that far in the instances of sudden onslaughts of Nebraska weather. Not to mention expensive. Good GOD on a rocket is parking expensive. I’d almost rather park at meters and get charged $10 a day in tickets, because it’s still cheaper. Not to mention students get kicked out of their own lots for football games and special events. Whose fucking genius idea was that? Oh that’s right, I attend a school where every student is equal, but sub-human compared to the almighty sport of football (more on this later).

Textbooks

Shopping for textbooks? Yeah, I stopped doing that in the bookstore YEARS ago because I was sick of paying over twenty bucks for a book that I could find on Amazon dot com for less than fifty cents. And when my professors insisted I HAD to have the edition the bookstore sold? Yeah, my wallet needed therapy after that kind of violation. Thank you, and now please go die in a fire.

‘Frat Boys’ and ‘Sorostitutes’

I can hear the people derping now: “But Lora! Not all boys in frats or girls in sororities are horrifically dumb and obnoxious!”

I’m aware of that. My first college roommate was in a sorority and she goes down in history as the second-best roommate I’ve ever had (the first is my friend Stevi. She has a blog over here. Go read it. It rocks). The vast majority of my experiences with dudes from frats who say ‘bro’ unironically and dress like douches is negative. And as for the girls? I have this nervous tic that makes me want to punch you in the face if you say the word ‘like’ more than five times in any given sentence. I think of it as being allergic to stupid people. I’m sure people like this still exist in the Real world, but most of them will remain confined to campus, where they will stay trapped as I run away skipping with glee in my eyes. Possibly cackling or screaming the word ‘FREEEEEDOMMMMMM’ Mel Gibson in Braveheart style.

Football

I am about to say something that might get me killed should this information fall into the wrong hands, but in the interest of full disclosure I am going to say it regardless of that fact:

I don’t care about Husker Football.

Yes, I am a UNL student. Yes, I respect the ideals of tradition and school spirit and all that jazz. What I cannot abide, however, is how this sport turns normal, civilized people into complete and utter morons in everything from their drunkeness to their driving, to their drunken driving.

See, there is a special kind of drunk reserved for the people of the world who love football the way the Husker fans do. There’s normal level drunk, which is a fairly standard rise and fall from rowdy to mouthy to vomity to occasional alcohol poisoning. Then there’s Husker drunk, which comes in two varieties:

1) “Oh my god you guys we won! we beat the fuckers at [insert name of rival school of the week here] and we beat ’em good! GOOOOOO BIIIIIIG REEEEEEEDDDD! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” *runs around in public wearing a corn hat, causing high levels of irritation and mayhem and potential drunken car accidents until collapsing and needing to be rushed to the hospital to be treated for liver failure*

2) “Goddamnit, I can’t believe we lost against the fuckers at [insert name of rival school of the week here], the officials were totally off and completely fucking us over! *drinks copiously to drown sorrows, gets in fights to raise spirits and ends up in the drunk tank with several dozen other Husker fans*

Not all Husker fans are bad. I know you’re out there, and I know you are good, respectful, rational people. Hell, my father likes the Huskers and will happily take advantage of the tickets my mother gets as part of her faculty package as a University professor every year. But for every reasonable, respectful husker fan there are at least a hundred senseless assholes taking up my space and my roads. Did I mention the roads? God forbid you have to get anywhere before or after a husker game, because the roads are completely impossible to navigate (during the game isn’t so bad, because everyone in town is either at the game or inside somewhere watching the game on TV). If they aren’t packed full of people leaving the game, they’re interspersed with people driving in a semi-drunken state even though it’s nine in the morning and the game doesn’t start for another five hours.

As long as I live in Nebraska I will deal with this, and I know it. But it’s a damn sight better than having to deal with it while existing on campus, especially on a Saturday. I’m not opposed to the Huskers winning: if they win, I’m less likely to get yelled at by my neighbors for not wearing red and cheering like a deranged howler monkey.

I could go on. There’s the drama, the high school issues that followed me into college, the unpleasant string of past relationships, the overpriced food, the misery of living in the dorms, shitty professors, crappy part time jobs.

There’s a lot I’m not going to miss about college. But these are my highlights, and they are the reasons that I will calmly walk across this campus on Saturday morning after receiving the official bit of paper that takes me away from academia, and flip off this glorious institution and the innumerable headaches it has caused me in the last four and a half years.

Goodbye UNL. For all the things I’ll miss about you, there’s a dozen more experiences that make me want to give you a well-deserved boot in your big red ass.

Thanks for the memories.

See you in hell.

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