The period from the first of April or April Fools Day as it is scientifically known till the middle of May marks the stretch; the dead time between spring break and the end of the year when college students are pushed to the brink of insanity. Surviving the stretch, as I have done three times, is not an easy task. The days are longer, the nights are shorter and your roommate's habit of singing along to Ashlee Simpson songs seems more annoying by the day. But why is the stretch so bad?
Just coming off spring break is hard enough for most of us. We had a week of booze-soaked revelry, playing in the waves and letting our pale skin blister in the sun. Returning to your dorm, your classes, your school's no-girls-after-11PM policy is just plain depressing. "Why" you think, "am I sitting here playing Snood when just two days ago I was doing body shots off a Hawaiian Tropic model in my underwear?" reality has a rude way of slapping you in the ass and coming home from spring break is no exception. But it gets worse.
The weather outside begins to warm up. Winter melts into spring and fat kids across the country cry as they put their beloved sweat pants and hoodies away for more revealing clothes. One would think that with this warm weather everything would be fantastic but it is not so. Your professors tried to take it easy on you all semester and only now are they realizing just how much work is left to be done. They will load you up with papers, quizzes and presentations thus creating the student's ultimate challenge go to class when the weather is nice? No one likes to learn to begin with but it's even worse when everyone else is tossing Frisbees around outside. Man, do we love Frisbees.
On top of this terrible weather/class paradox, the student is also assaulted with the reality school is ending soon and they will have to move back home. Mom and Dad are good for many things like money, free laundry and money, but the impending dread of spending another summer with a curfew and chores is more than many of us can take. Not to mention that in nine out of ten cases your town is a boring, lifeless pit that you swore you would get away from. The bars suck, your old friends don't really "get" your new "identity" and your little brother is at that age when he's "discovering his body" in your old room.
However there is a way to survive the stretch. Just like buying a hooker, it's all about time management. I know thinking is difficult but I urge you to try. As much as we all like to say "I never go to class, dude," most of us do and most of us feel guilty when we skip. Therefore, I urge you to attend at least %60 of your classes. Going to all of them is out of the question after all, that Frisbee isn't going to throw itself but attending roughly six out of every ten classes will leave you with the perfect mix of guilt and free time. Try to do your papers but if you miss one or two don't sweat it; Mom and Dad paid for four years, they'll spring for an extra semester if they have to. But, most importantly, try your best to enjoy this stressful, terrible period of time. You don't want to be on your deathbed thinking, "God, those last few weeks of college were certainly stressful." You want to think, "I can't remember a damn thing I did then." That's how you know you had fun. Find that divine mix of pleasure and pain, hard work and hard booze and enjoy it. After all, summer is right around the corner and you don't want to have to lie to your high school friends about some hottie you hooked up with on the quad, do you? My friends, the stretch has begun.
1. The Columbia University based Prangstgrup has an amazing follow-up to their Library Musical prank called Lecture Musical that they just released. It's great, so don't miss it.
2. We did an interview with Judah Friedlander (American Splendor, Meet the Parents, Dave Matthews video ) so check that out here. It's pretty funny.