Take a peek into the life of a Liberal Arts Student…
Excerpt 1: Everyone is Overcompensating
Teacher: “Why don’t most shops have large windows?”
Teacher: “Anyone? Take a guess?”
Student: “Is it because windows remind us of the outside world? By showing us what lies beyond, they literally emphasize the all pervading disease of our consumeristic behavior? And our crazed participation in corporate capitalist culture? And manufacturers don’t want that? So they cut off our view to that larger world as we bury ourselves in a microcosm of our own material desire? Is that it?”
(You can tell someone is a first-year-student by the way all their opinions end in questions. They’re still recovering from the trauma of high school.)
Teacher: “Shops don’t have windows because they take up the space that could be used for stacking more products. Let’s keep reading.”
Excerpt 2: Everyone Owns At Least One Expensive Accessory In The Name Of Art
If you’re a hipster, this can be an acoustic guitar and/or a film camera. If you consider yourself a modern day intellectual, it needs to be a bass guitar and/or a DSLR. Also a plus if you have alternate Instagram and Facebook pages to post abstract pictures and/or covers with cringe-inducing quasi-sentimental captions and spam your friends and family to the extent where they begin to consider if there are any positive aspects to continuing their relationship with you.
Excerpt 3: Political Correctness
Teacher: “We’re going to be discussing East Asian Politics today. To start off, let’s name the East Asian countries!”
Student 1: “Japan!”
Student 2: “Korea!”
Student 3: “China!”
Student 4: “Taiwan!”
Student 5: “Hong Kong!”
Teacher: “….well, then.”
Excerpt 4: Privileged people Write pretentious poetry
for in that lonesome
i woke up drenched
reached over to touch
that you left
your mark on
i found that
my very own
____your classmate who goes on mid-semester Europe trips.
Excerpt 5: Multiculturalism Isn’t What People Think It Is.
You’ll realize this when you can fluently swear at strangers in three different foreign languages, courtesy of your diverse friend group[s], but find yourself unable to hold a basic conversation in the target language you’ve been studying for two years.
Excerpt 6: You Will Become Vehemently Political, Either By Self-Motivation Or Through Peer Pressure.
Hushed whispers of “Be careful around him, he’s a communist!” probably wouldn’t have made you shudder in revulsion as a high school student, but college is a whole new world.
Also scrolling through someone’s Facebook page to make sure they’re not a Nazi is a matter of common sense.
Finally, be prepared to have your favorite celebrity destroyed and abused thanks to some well-read fellow liberal arts student or aspiring activist who knows everything foul or problematic that everyone from obscure politicians to the stray cats around campus have done since they first appeared on the scene.
Excerpt 7: Your Social Networking Sites Are A Battlefield Of Clashing Values
Friend 1: #gym #positivity #selflove #body #fitness #workingout #imhappy #carbsarevil
Friend 2: #nihilism #lifeistragedy #existentialcrisis #darknesstakesover #igiveup #sodone
Friend 3: #godwilldeliver #blessings #prayerhands #lightformyfollowers #holyquote
Friend 4: #fuckpolice #fuckestablishment #longliveche #communism #downwithprisons
Friend 5: #lookatmycovers #checkoutmyotherpage #followforfollow #imapro #really
Excerpt 8: You Find Your Place on THAT Spectrum
It ranges from ‘I-have-my-student-and-love-life-in-flawlessly-perfect-order-and-the-world-is-at-my-feet’ to ‘my-graduation-thesis-is-due-in-two-weeks-and-I-still-don’t-have-a-topic’.
Other real life examples we’ve heard include ‘can-I-just-buy-new-clothes-instead-of-learning-how-to-use-the-washing-machine’ and ‘this-food-has-fungus-growing-on-it-but-I’m-too-broke-to-afford-anything-else’.
Excerpt 9: Everyone Wants to Have Intellectual Opinions
To the fish served in the cafeteria: “A very…experimental concept.”
About someone’s poetry submission: “It elicited a…strong physiological reaction.”
At someone’s baby: “The…quintessential amalgamation of its parents.”
During a family member’s wedding: “…death is imminent and marriage is a failing social institution.”
Before an exam: “Our professors are looking down on us….from a place of privilege.”
Excerpt 10: There Are Two Kinds of Adults
Type 1 is an adult by a purely technical accident. They happened to turn eighteen or twenty or twenty one, or whatever the legal age of the country they’re living in. That’s their only qualification.
Type 2 is an actual adult. Usually around twenty five or older, they have life firmly under control and exude confidence, mental balance, emotional stability and the sexiest thing of them all: basic competence.
College is just about taking the unforgettable journey from Type 1 to Type 2.
That’s all the wisdom you’ll need to make sense of your sometimes surreal academic journey. And definitely more useful than the -isms you’ll meet in your introduction to philosophy course.
[Cover Image Via Courtesy of Flickr]