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Welcome back to the college experience

Humor editor Camila Cohen Suárez questions the meaning of the college experience

Welcome, dear readers, to the year 2022! There are those who are looking ahead positively, those who are not and those who do not give a damn either way. In my mind, perhaps we will no longer be vampires who seclude themselves inside and screech at the sign of the outside world. I have lost all sense of prediction in the past few years, so who knows what the future may hold?

With all considered, instead of going forward, let us go backward. In your final two years of high school, some of you may have encountered family, friends or strangers routinely learning of your upcoming college essay or entrance letters. In response to absorbing this information, they may have responded with a variation of the phrases below.

“Wow! You’ve grown up quick, kid!”

“What schools are you applying to, buckaroo?”

“How’s your essay going, sport? Those deadlines come quickly, huh?”

Stop the presses, right? A person can only be asked these questions a few times before transforming into a repetitive university-bound zombie. However, there is one query that might have caused you to stop in thought — “Are you excited for the best time of your life? The college experience awaits!” To that, you may have had a few reactions. Confusion. Excitement. Fear.

And after almost two years attending the University, I have but one question. What the heck is meant by “the college experience”? Maybe I am a bit clueless and slightly oblivious. But, I cannot help but inquire into whatever I am supposed to be experiencing during these traditional four years of higher schooling. The pandemic placed a hitch on those who entered during the Zoom era like myself. Regardless, seeing as more in-person classes have opened the door for new experiences, those that have continued on Grounds may be expecting the college experience to embrace them. Some may have already found a way to safely participate in the college experience and have the so-called “best time of their lives.” Others may still be expecting the imaginative experience to appear before them. 

Generally speaking, individuals could perceive the college experience in a variety of manners. For some, that may be grouping together with friends on a night out about town and having a blast. Perhaps “going wild” is a better description. Others may see the college experience as buckling down and staying up until dawn in the libraries or their dorm, studying for their courses hour by hour. Midterms come. And, somehow, finals come even faster. Nevertheless, other variations are dependent on one’s definition of the college experience. For instance, some may be finding themselves in an eternal state of limbo.

What is meant by this, you may wonder? Honestly, I have no clue, but the definition of “limbo” is fitting. In sum, it describes individuals trapped in an intermediate state of incompletion and obviation. Or, better yet, the category could be attributed to one definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Attending classes and expecting your passion to miraculously reveal itself. Sleeping and eating out at the same places, hoping that in the future you will have something to laugh about regarding your years walking about campus. Is that a bit pessimistic of a humor writer to say? Yes, but this humor writer specializes in sarcasm and comedic self-deprecation. 

Ignoring those implications, let us return to the original question. What exactly is the college experience? Is it devoting your time towards friends and nights out? Is it draining your energy towards achieving the perfect grades? Is it lumbering around limbo, searching for an escape hatch to free you — also known as graduation? 

In all honesty, it is not my place to tell you. We need to figure that out ourselves. The college experience is a perception of the period you spend at your school. Or, in this case, the University. By the time graduation comes, there will be people who have a definition of the experience and there will be others who simply did not care enough to conjure one. Years from now, or quite soon, the Earth will have either succumbed to environmental damage or some of us will have a different span of their lives to attribute the “best time” towards. And there is nothing wrong with that.

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