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Recently, I published this article on why graduate school is a good option for graduating seniors who’d rather crack open a warm one with Danielle Bregoli than face the real world. In the comments, there was a young lad who stated the following:
“I don’t know about you guys but I can’t wait to fucking graduate. These past couple of years have been the shittiest years of my life”
This quickly became the most downvoted comment, as it blatantly opposed everything that TFM and its followers stand for. College is a four-year celebration of youth; a time to grow as a human being in a cushioned bubble of community, scholarship and almost zero accountability for your terrible, terrible decisions. But the fact remains that having a bad time in college is a serious epidemic that affects a portion of every student body across the nation. So instead of a heavy-handed lecture about why you shouldn’t be a buzzkill crybaby asshole, here are five possible reasons you aren’t enjoying your college experience to its full potential so you can try to correct your situation.
1. You Aren’t Getting Out There
Just like most of your 8 a.m. classes, simply showing up is 75% of the battle. No memorable story ever started, “So there I was on a Friday night, 4 seasons into watching The Wire for the sixth time…” Even in the smallest of college towns, there is always something to get into. If there truly isn’t, make it happen yourself. Like Ghandi said, “Be the party you want to see.” The bigger the university, the smaller your list of valid excuses. I’m telling you right now: you will never ever look back on your collegiate days and think, “I wish I would have spent more time playing Call of Duty with my random roommate.”
2. You’re Square Pegging
Start with an honest assessment of yourself and your “lane.” Don’t rush a fraternity you know you don’t belong in just because they hold some kind of campus prestige or because it was your dad’s chapter. Don’t join student council if you think student council is a bunch of dicks pretending to be politicians. I know college is a time to reinvent yourself, but not if that means jamming yourself into a group you hate with people you loathe. Find a place in the ecosystem to carve out as your own. Try a little bit of everything and then do the things that make you happy with the people that make every exam worth surviving.
3. You’re Lone Wolfing
No man is an island. The best memories you make will always be tied to the people you make them with. College is a self-graded, 4-year group project. Why would you want to spend it with a shitty group or no group at all? For some, being “the loner” worked in high school. This isn’t high school; no one forced you to come here (unless you have crazy helicopter parents). No matter your personality type, interests, quirks, hobbies, etc., I guarantee there are at least two other guys or gals that you can band together with at school. Getting so drunk that you shit your pants is made better when there is someone there to take pictures and monitor your breathing. Even if binge drinking and ragers aren’t your thing, there is probably a rousing game of D&D being played just down the street from you right now in desperate need of one more badass mage. Do what gets your dick hard. Just don’t do it alone.
4. You’re Butthurt
You had a vivid picture of what college was supposed to be like. Then something happened that didn’t fit into that neatly constructed box. You didn’t get into the frat you wanted. You failed a terrible course and had to retake it. Your girlfriend of 2 years dumped you (good fucking riddance). Suddenly, your idea of the perfect college experience has been utterly shit upon. Now you are spending days, weeks, months (heaven forbid) in your room wallowing and listening to Taylor Swift’s “1989” on repeat. Nothing could possibly be a bigger waste of time. The faster you’re able to get over disappointment, the more time you will spend suckling sweet, sweet milk from the teet of youth and young manhood.
5. You’re A Tryhard
We don’t talk about it much, but there is a lot going on in your life. Though scholarship can often take a back seat to the pursuit of a good time, it’s always there. It isn’t always easy to strike the balance between the two while juggling a social life, a job, athletics, and everything else that come with the college experience. It can be incredibly stressful, and for some people, the stress of these competing forces can be overwhelming. The pressure to perform at the highest levels while partying excessively can lead to anxiety, burn-out, sleep-deprivation, and, worst of all, FOMO.
The solution? Just relax. I know it sounds too simple, but take some time to enjoy the here and now. Maybe you miss a party to catch up on some sleep. Maybe you skip some extra studying to make poor life choices. Whatever you do, make sure to graduate with some sort of a degree and an entire album of photos you wish didn’t exist..