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8 From Penn State: Guilty Pleasures Edition

Sure, the title says Penn State, but these guilty pleasures have been known to strike collegiettes at any campus! It’s about time we called them out for throwing off our game…

Have you ever been at one of those academic awards ceremonies and watched a parade of flawlessly coiffed, clothed, and cosmetic-ed girls saunter across the stage to receive recognition for their five majors, humanitarian visits to Bevanistan, research reporting the effects of LiLo on squirrel self-esteem, AND trust-fund boyfriends?

I hate them.

Okay, if I’m honest, I hate them because, inside, I want to be them. Dang it if I don’t spend at least a half hour before I go to bed thinking about how I’m going to wake up the next morning as Success Barbie (she’s the one whose box has a sweeping view of Madison Avenue). I spring out of bed all set to study harder/better/faster/stronger, lead fellow females in the apotheosis of magazine journalism, snag a stud muffin, and generally win at everything without a single hair falling out of place.

But then those little whiners known as The Guilty Pleasures tug on the hem of my skinny jeans and give me such enticing puppy-dog eyes that I have to stop my forward march into awesomeness to give them some attention. I’m a sucker for puppy-dog eyes.

Guilty Pleasures, I’m here to call you out. You are so much fun to indulge in, but, damn it, you need to stop getting in the way of Me Winning the World. I’m looking at you…

…online magazines.

College Candy, Glamour, Marie Clare, Cosmo, Her Campus, and even GuySpeak and Hyperbole and a Halfyou are all way more fun to read than How English Works. Yes, I realize that some of you aren’t magazines in the strictest sense of the word, but you have what could roughly be called “articles” that make it impossible for me to just read one as a study break.


I was an atypical freshman, totally on top of my game academically. I never watched TV, and I was proud of myself for not being dependent on it. Sure, there were shows I liked, but this was COLLEGE. Why watch TV when there was life to be lived? (Or, at least, homework to be accomplished?)

And then I discovered Hulu. (I also became cooler and much more of a mainstream, lazy, procrastinatory college student, but that’s really only tangentially related.) Thanks to Hulu, even if I’ve missed Project Runway, I know that there’s still a chance for me to find out which designer was “out.” And holy bejesus, NOW I HAVE TO KNOW.


Why are you such a repository of hilarity? From Remi Galliard to Darrell to parodies galore, you make it really hard for me to concentrate on the antiquated humor of grumpy old men like Ben Johnson. I mean, I laugh at him, too, but I have to think much harder.

And don’t even get me started on the music videos. You’ve made me dissatisfied with the simple audio my iTunes can give me, audio I can put on in the background while I get real things accomplished. No, now I have to watch Ke$ha unzip herself to let out whatever yellow powder/glitter she’s kept bottled up until the dark of the night when she can finally let out the animal, or whatever. So thanks.

…iced coffee.

Okay, this is not too guilty of a pleasure. Except that, when I drink it, there’s usually a 50/50 chance I’ll either be super productive or too hyper to focus properly.


You know that the best time to sneak up on me is late at night, when I’m just returning to my dorm after studying/YouTubing/drinking iced coffee/laughing at Allie Brosh’s retarded dog pictures, when it is easiest to drop everything (including the clothes I’ve worn during the day, pens that have run out of ink, and that issue of Cosmo I told myself I wasn’t going to buy) on the floor and fall into bed. When it comes time to carpe the diem, then, I realize that I cannot possibly focus when my personal possessions are in chaos. An innocent intention to tidy up becomes a fully-fledged spring (or summer or winter or fall or New Moon) cleaning, complete with alphabetized beauty products and t-shirts categorized within an inch of their lives.


Yeah, yeah, I’m real original here. As with everything else I do, I start off with the best intentions. I actually use Facebook to communicate about business matters (like club meeting times and such) and tweet on behalf of the organizations that I’m involved in. Before logging in, I even give myself a 300-style pep talk: “Get in, wreak some havoc, get out and continue the conquest! THIS IS PRODUCTIVITY!!”

Except then I notice that Ryan Seacrest posted a link to Katy Perry’s newest song and, of course, that bears notice. And, what!? My good friends Barbara and Kenneth ended their relationship?? Hmmm…I have seen him wearing a suspicious amount of ascots lately. Or was that him? Better check his profile pictures…

And so it goes.

…the male gender.



Because, you see, instead of chopping away at my to-do list, I’ve spent an hour and a half on this post.


So it’s your turn! What guilty pleasures stop you from being the productive powerhouse you know you can be? Is this just a Penn State thing? What are your feelings about the things I listed?

*This post was adapted from my blog. Because, despite its fun colors, not many people read it.*

Jen Kach is the most enthusiastic English major you'll ever meet at Penn State. Not a drop of British blood runs in her veins, but with her passion for literature and creative writing, she may as well have been born in the country of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens! Once she graduates from Happy Valley, she hopes to take the publishing world by storm, working either in book publishing or the magazine industry. At the top of her list, though, are novels...her ultimate dream is to write several of them! At Penn State, she is the managing editor for Valley magazine, a writing center tutor, and a member of Ed2010. An ardent believer in La Vie Boheme, she is in love with love, art, coffee shops, music, and classic films. She loves the little things in life, will never forget seeing the Goo Goo Dolls live in concert, and firmly believes that, when all else is said and done, there is no problem that Jane Austen can't fix.
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