Fall has Fell

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It’s back. We’re back, I mean. The annual migration of late teens and twenty-somethings from parents’ basements into overpriced, college-accessible housing has reached its peak. The D.I. is crowded on Wednesdays again, and the bookstore staff are cashing their fat, fat paychecks, with a lack of shame rivaled only by Disney and Lucifer himself. A new semester is upon us.

Not all of us are back, though. Some have never been. For you freshman, I imagine it all seems novel, fresh, and exciting. It isn’t, but I get why you think it is. New school, new people, new kinds of stains to leave on your friends’ couches, all of it seems just terribly romantic, doesn’t it?

It isn’t. Reconcile yourself to that. Don’t be fooled.  Not much has changed. Most of your education is on subjects you don’t care about, but you’ve got to pass the class so you can take the advanced course in the subject you don’t really care about. Everything costs too much, you make too little, you have too much to do and not enough time to do it, everyone is smarter than you, everyone is better than you, and there’s every indication that when you’ve finally earned your degree you’ll march straight into the soul-crushing McCareer that will consume your hopes, dreams, days and decades.

And yet…

The real object lesson of this article is this: stay in school. Not for the reasons you grew up listening to in so many D.A.R.E.-sponsored assemblies.  Let me be the one to break it to you – your future is not so bright that you need to wear sunglasses. Take them off, Oakleys are for poseurs anyways.

No, there’s a more compelling reason: It is mighty scary out there. I don’t know if you’ve read anything about our CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS, but it’s huge. Huge, all-encompassing, and here to stay for a while. I don’t know about you, but selling apples out of the barrel that doubles as my apartment at night doesn’t sound too great. It’s definitely not as comfortable as my own personal government bailout, in the form of a Pell grant, supporting the sixth year of my four-year degree.

That’s the real secret to success in this market, or at least the delay of inevitable failure. Stay a student forever. It’s good in here, and very bad out there.

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