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What Now?

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It’s the Monday after graduation. Sitting on the duct taped futon that’s seen four years of poorly drawn dicks on passed out friends, you scroll Facebook. It’s a steady stream of graduates, gowns and grandparents. With every “I want to thank God and my parents,” you grow more and more depressed. The permanent smell of stale beer lingering in the air floods you with memories of keg stands, themed parties, and a sense of reckless abandon that you fear may never be recaptured. Every hole in the drywall, every stain, every mangled pong table — all conjure memories. Junior year this rush of nostalgia would have been welcomed with fondness. Now these mental movies (some missing scenes thanks to Jack) are a cold reminder of the dark, keggerless world you are being thrust into.
Over the last four years you have made dear friends, horrible mistakes, and questionable decisions. This house has been the womb from which a shy, pimply freshman with a bad haircut has emerged a roof jumping blackout machine with very little shame. To call it a rebirth would be an understatement. Everything worth knowing was learned in this house. You have found and lost love and lust over and over in a weekend cycle that sent you to the campus health department on multiple occasions. Dozens of games of “what do you think this is?” have been played with pants around the ankles of young men just trying to have a good time. Brotherhood wasn’t found in the service projects or alumni dinners. It was found in carrying each others’ limp bodies to safety, 4 a.m. drunken singalongs, Quevo fueled donnybrooks, and that one-time devil’s threesome complete with view of Paris’ famous monument.

All of that seems far away now. You struggle to hold on to what little time you have left. You spring up and jog to the hall of heroes. Gently you run your finger across the familiar faces in the 2017 frat picture. “We were perfect,” you say to yourself. This year’s crew had every kind of pledge you need. Fat Josh, the incredibly overweight funny guy whose obesity was only matched by his hilarity. Crazy Brett, who would literally do anything after three shots. Dirty Dick Rick who, well, had a dirty dick. Kevin, the pledge we all hated and mocked mercilessly (“fuckin Kevin,” you whisper). The list goes on and on, but it seems that the good times will not. This time next week you will find yourself in a small apartment working a 9-5 that makes you wish the alcohol poisoning would have taken you instead of Will last year (RIP Will). Is this really life now?
What if I told you there was a way to rage for at least three more years? What if you could fend off the looming reality of a shitty corporate internship at your uncle’s firm? Two words: graduate school. You might be saying, “But I don’t really need a Master’s Degree for my career.” It really doesn’t matter. A second degree will look great on your wall, and your parents already set aside seven years worth of tuition because they figured it would take you that long to finish your Bachelor’s. Go to law school. Take that communications degree to the next level. Explore whatever the hell the Poli-Sci department has going on over there. It literally makes no difference. You are guaranteeing yourself at least three more years of wild stories and plausible deniability. Not to mention some next level status with all of the Juniors who are “totally over immature college guys.”

Sure. You can roll the dice on what awaits you outside of the comfort and safety of this hallowed institution. It might not even be that bad. Plenty of other people have done it and have gone on to live well-adjusted lives. But why would you even risk it? Graduate school will give you more time to “find yourself” without the STDs and unending diarrhea that come with spending a year abroad. It’s like taking a second tour of duty as an older, wiser soldier with a much higher drinking tolerance. Pull yourself up, walk over to the admissions office, and throw a dart at the wall of graduate program brochures. They’ll be pissed and probably ask you to leave, but at least you’ll have the next piece of your life in place and can get back to what’s important. Fuckery.

(Editor’s Note by Dillon: Here’s my counterpoint I wrote three years ago)

Image via Shutterstock

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Mike Hale

"Just remember, we are all boys grown tall." -Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

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