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In high school a lot of us deal with the drowning clichés of underpaid and overeducated counselors, trying to “guide” us away from the mistakes we’ll probably make, and they almost undoubtedly have.
The worst, though, has got to be the disingenuous idiocy known at my school as the “career question.” During a mandated “senior meeting,” which should begin and end with “I’m going to ____ in the fall,” our counselor would uniformly ask, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
Now, ignoring the fact someone with a psychology degree should realize a 17-year-old has a difficult time choosing PPV or third person on the Hub, let alone a multiple decade plan, it is the second part of the question that gets me in an Iron Bowl week Paul Finebaum caller level rage:
“If you had unlimited funds, what would you do?”
Well, if I had an 11-inch dick I’d be in a porn magazine under the headline “Vanilla Thunder.” But I don’t, so I’m not. These sorts of hypotheticals are not only idiotic, but broken. So I should choose what I do forever without even contemplating money? I’m sure a ton of us would choose shoveling shit, driving trucks, working assembly lines, and wiping the elderly.
The entire economy would collapse on itself. We’d all be sitting around drinking wine and stocking the unmanned golf course as “professionals,” running up endless debt. So basically America would become Greece.
But now things are actually becoming real. For a lot of us, this is our last ever summer, two more months of debauched immaturity excusable due to our active student ID. Just a handful more blacked out rivalry games in the student section, one more round of torturing pledges, the end of the “yeah, she’s a freshman, but we are in the same Spanish class” excuse holding water.
Like Davis Bowie’s heart, we are nearing an abrupt end.
My senior year ended before I could even notice. Applying to grad schools, jobs that didn’t include our country club’s assistant pro as a reference, and my first look at “alumni opportunities” in our chapter marked the bittersweet slide towards actual adulthood. And it’ll happen to the rest of you, too.
No matter how hard we try to personify Van Wilder across college campuses, eventually it all ends. Some day, a hell of a lot sooner than you think, you’ll be that old guy at the tailgate the undergrads repeatedly ask “who the fuck are you?”
Soon, your idiotic antics won’t be excused or brushed under the rug. You’ll have people to answer to that didn’t birth you. You’ll have responsibilities you can’t hand off to a pledge, ask your dad to take care of, or wholly ignore.
So this summer, some advice from a 2015 graduate clinging to youth through an anonymous profile: Drink a little more, haze a little harder, go out as often as you can, don’t get tied to a girlfriend, take care of what you need to, but don’t waste a single moment.
Staggering drunkenly across the stage and seeing double as you accept your diploma isn’t just a day of prideful accomplishment, but the last page of a chapter you’ll always wish you could read again..