Ah, College
"My contribution to no one"

It's been a rough month for us all. Finals are looming and final papers are due. Personally, I buckled down and worked harder than I've ever worked before. I have bled and sweat for my final papers. But hero that I am, I have somehow fallen short of my goal of my own Lifetime Original Movie.

It's depressing. If I searched for a thousand years, I would never once happen upon a person who cared how much work I put into my papers. In fact, with one paper titled "An Evaluation of Ascribed Leadership's Roots in Achieved Leadership, Focusing on 'Big Men' in Various Cultures," I doubt I could find anyone who even understood my papers in that amount of time.

College is the ultimate for watering down your achievements. In the real world, such hard work might earn me a raise. Or at least the hatred of my co-workers for making them look bad. In college, my wrist hurts, I'm tired, and I've drank so much Mountain Dew to stay up that I have a heart murmur.

Though, granted, I was already drinking that much Mountain Dew anyway.

Sometimes I just wish people would give me a pat on the back for the hard work I do. I just wish that when a teacher handed back a paper, they would say, "Nice work, Matt." Instead of, "I haven't learned any of your names. So if you aren't Frank, pass the paper to him."

I used to have my parents as a fallback. If I did well, even if no one else in the world cared, they would. But then they told me they'd be proud of me no matter what I did in life. Yeah, there's some good incentive to work harder.

I'd be more inclined to put more into school if they at least threatened to stop loving me if I got a D or something.

My only solace in these rough times is that I think I did pretty well on all my papers. Unfortunately, this only means that a professor will scan the paper briefly, slap a "B" on the front and mutter, "At least he didn't plagiarize." At least, I hope he mutters that.

People might suspect that I, like many other college students, would leap at the chance to copy someone else. Though my history of academic achievement has been shady at various points, I have not once plagiarized. After all, plagiarism would require me to use sources.

But back to the subject. Sometimes you just start to feel like everything you do in college is pointless. Sometimes it seems like you're just trying to pass so you can get a degree, while your actual knowledge is irrelevant to getting a job. And I won't argue with you, because you're right.

If you work for a month and make an amazing paper, you won't get a gold star. Those three days straight you stayed up researching won't get you a little red smiley face at the top of your paper. Which might be okay, because I'm twenty. And that would be really creepy.

No, the difference between spending six weeks and six hours on a paper is that you'll just be a lot more tired. Your efforts are ultimately useless. It's the truth, but I'd like to apologize for being cynical. This is the first column I've ever done that. I hope it doesn't establish a trend.

Luckily, final papers are over. They may be pointless. They might take days of your time and get graded in less than ten minutes. But at least they only come around twice a year, so we can focus on more important things that are actually relevant to our future success. You know. Like final exams.