Surviving the spring semester


Photo by Annette Barraza

Annette Barraza

College students are back at it again. If you have not had the pleasure of graduating, if you ailed to win the lottery, or could not come up with an idea to make you rich overnight, then you are probably drudging back to the grind of higher education.

College is frustrating. It lures you in with the promise you can customize your own career, make lifelong friends and start to live your own life, but it turns out to be one of those commercials that sells you the good points and ignores all the bad stuff in the  hopes you  will still buy into the very expensive dream.

Sure, we will get a piece of paper at the end of four or five, (really, who is counting) years, but no one told us about the crippling anxiety of finals (30 percent is too much for one exam, people), the self-imposed isolation (count your blessings if you can effectively study in a group) and the bouts of doubts when sacrificing the present seems too high a cost for an uncertain future.

Sure, we may make lifelong friends, but nobody warned us we might literally have to pay for them (sororities and fraternities), the sheer stress of getting through finals can render relationships, other than the one with your study guide, void.

Do not get me wrong, education can be fascinating. Sometimes, learning about a topic you are truly passionate about from an expert can make the long nights, eye bags and expensive textbooks worth it.

Besides, there is honor among college students. We have countless resources from those who have gone before us to help pick the best professor for a class, buy the cheapest textbook, or even teach us how to make meals and take a break on a budget. It helps even the most bitter students through the semesters and can warm the most caffeinated hearts like no cup of coffee can.

After all, only college students can get away with taking on steadily increasing amounts of debt (with the hope that we can one day pay it off), sleep anywhere on campus (the library, in class, in our car) and call Ramen and coffee staples in our limited diets.

So here it is: a slightly sardonic, probably sarcastic, yet reluctantly hopeful take on what it means to survive college, one semester at a time.