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Everyone goes to college with some vague idea of what they're going to get out of it. You're going to learn how to live on your own, how to sleep in places that are not your bed, how to projectile vomit into various containers. But you're also going to acquire life lessons you didn't anticipate and don't actually want. These are the real gems of wisdom you're going to lug along with you into the Real World. Like it or not, you're going to learn how to...
You could go the rest of your life without eating another bowl of midnight cereal and you'd die happy, but it's more than that. It's the careful art of slicing your pizza with a pair of scissors. It's using coffee filters as toilet paper. It's eating pasta right out of the measuring cup.
There's always one specific location on campus you avoid like the plague because it has a high concentration of clipboards and flyers and people trying to give you high-fives you don't want. You never thought you'd be so good at resolutely denying another human being's existence, but life's funny like that.
It's 3 AM, and you've somehow screwed yourself over in ways heretofore unseen. You've screwed yourself over in ways you can't even comprehend. You've got essays you haven't started and entire books to read, and there's an exam on Monday that you've already eschewed as useless life fodder. It's kind of an adrenaline rush, though. There's something both beautiful and terrible about being so screwed that you just don't care anymore. It's like trying to defuse a bomb in a spy movie, except your parents are paying $50,000 regardless of whether or not you fuck it up.
College means personifying what it means to be an asshole. College means blatantly crossing the street at random without so much as a sideways glance. College means shedding every last vestige of self-preservation and embracing the possibility of your imminent death.
You learn how to pinpoint the good student in a difficult class (or at least the person who's not out of your league academically) and latch onto them. You might not even like them and you'll probably never speak to them again, but you guys will form a blood-oath study pact, tag-teaming your way through hellish due dates and midnight cram sessions.
Do you ever find yourself wading through an actual, literal shit sea of last night's party remnants as you walk across campus on a Sunday morning and think to yourself, "What the actual hell?" No, you don't, because this is just par for the course. Is that a condom hanging out of a tree? Probably. Did someone leave their pants in this mailbox? Looks that way. Vomit on the sidewalk? Well, where else would it be?
You had erroneous ideas, high morals, and actual ambitions. Every decision you made was mostly wrong, and your hair was probably stupid.
Good news if you're a doctor--bad news if you're a regular college student just trying to get by. Your professors will decide that tomorrow's the day everything's due (because they feed on the tears of their students and the blood of the innocent), leaving you to decide what's going to get done and what's going to simply become the ashes of what used to be your academic pursuits.
Is it pneumonia? Is it strep? Is it mono? Probably, but let's pretend otherwise. You've got three exams to study for, an annotated bibliography to bullshit, and an emotional catastrophe to indulge in later. You don't have time to have mono.
There's no adulthood initiation, there's no manual, and there's no getting off this rollercoaster ride. One day you'll seamlessly transition into what the rest of the world classifies as an Actual Adult, and you'll still be as clueless and as prone to midnight cereal meals as you were freshman year. Now, however, you have some viable skills stored away in your arsenal. You can cut pizza with scissors, and you're ultimately better for it.