COLUMN: Goodbye, happy flat mountain
As hip-hop pioneer Aristotle once wrote in a poem later turned into a lyric by intrepid philosopher Kanye West: “We outta here baby.”
And by “we,” I mean “me.” Or is it “I?” In writing this I realized me never really nailed that bit of knowledge down either.
I did learn how to do all kinds of things during my half-decade sentence in college, not all of them practical, some of them decidedly unprofessional. Still, I am leaving this sandbox of a campus some kind of half-mature semi-adult, which is a remarkable achievement considering the swampish emo child who was tricked into coming here five long years ago.
Seriously, take a look at my Campus I.D. photo taken in the muggy summer of 2007:
(pause for laughter)
That was a person who honestly believed the world of college graduates consisted entirely of intelligent, well-meaning, open-minded adults. He also thought people would speak to him even with that haircut and wearing a Bathing Ape hoodie.
That person was an idiot. As someone who has now dipped a toe in the professional world and will be receiving a diploma shortly, I can assure you life will continue to be a series of slightly better dressed high schools forever.
So, I can’t offer any kind of perfect plan of action, because the things that have gone best in my life have come from blind luck or happy accidents. Still, taking a risk every now and then is probably a good idea.
I am fairly certain the person who decided to be an accountant/nursing assistant/technical writer at 17, probably for career and security reasons, then wakes up at 30 as a miserable accountant/sperm bank guard/sperm bank accountant will be pretty upset with their grown-ass selves for listening to the pathetic person they were at 17.
If you know in your gut that you’re headed for something miserable, even if it’s safe, change now. Nothing is going to go as planned anyway, you’re at the CMU that can’t even get cmu.edu as its website, so why don’t you at least go through the insanity of life doing something you want.
As Beatle and ruiner of round glasses John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
(pause for vomit)
Do I know exactly where I’ll be in six months? Sure don’t. But remember that most people who are positive are full of it anyway. Or, they’re going to still be in school in the wealthiest country in history, which is the best possible place on Earth to be right now.
The economy could be well and truly destroyed thanks to some important politician’s off-the-cuff insult of someone’s ant farm or something (moment of honesty: I took a class in economics and six credits of political science classes, and that’s the best I could do) and you will still be in college. A safe place. Want to give your hair the Skrillex treatment? Of course you do, you edgy little dishmop. And you know what? No one will bat an eye.
You can’t be fired from college. I know this, because if students could be, I would have been canned years ago. Instead, I’m walking out of here, intact and something of a better person. At least a less naive person.
Remember to enjoy yourself. Soon enough you’ll have reasonable adult haircuts, student loan payments (haha, oh are we doomed or what?) and probably babies or something else awful.
Nutritional supplement turned songstress Vitamin C reminds us that soon this beautiful stressparty will be over. Don’t worry friends, let her soothing words resonate in your heart:
“As we go on, we remember
All the times we had together
And as our lives change, from whatever
We will still be, friends forever.”
Word. But really, I probably won’t ever see you guys again.
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