College is too cool to leave

Elton Wong

I’m no physicist, but I recall that general relativity postulates that your subjective experience of time is slower the faster you move.

Einstein may have been pretty bright, but he said there is a certain time-related phenomenon that he missed: time moves faster the older you get. I’m not exactly sure how this works out because the highest math class I took was Calculus 166, and that was three years ago. I don’t remember much of that class except it involved lots of numbers, weird symbols and something about the letter “d,” my grade for the first test as I recall.

Anyway, I think time moves faster because each year you experience progressively be-comes a smaller and smaller fraction of your total life. For example, if you’re 8-years-old, one year equals 12.5 percent of your entire existence on the earth. When you’re 21, a year is more like 5 percent, and it only gets smaller from there.

Things get more predictable too. When the beginning of a new year approaches, instead of getting all excited and pumped up, you begin to think things like “It’ll be really cold in January, and I’ll have to go to class early in the morning even though I can’t feel my legs, and by the time it gets warmer, I won’t want to study anymore, and I’ll be sick of school and want to play disc golf all the time.”

I noticed this pattern in about sixth grade, minus the disc golf. I would say it’s been a long nine years since then, but the years have been shortening. Take last December for example.

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago my friends and I were stockpiling firearms and preparing to retreat to our military complex near Boone in preparation for the year 2000.

We sure got made fun of this January, but we’re going to be the ones laughing when storm troopers in black helicopters led by the United Nations and the liberal media round all of you up into internment camps and take away your freedom. These are the same people who control the weather. I’ll bet my collection of AK-47s will seem a lot less silly then, won’t it? Yeah, me and Dr. Dre will be laughing it up. Maybe Ansel Adams will come by and take some nice pictures of all of you internees.

Massive stockpiles of assault weapons aside, this year really is going to be different for me and many people like me because we’re going to be graduating from college in a semester. For some of us, this simply means more school.

For others, it signifies the transition from the academic life to what is commonly referred to as the “real world.” I am scared as hell of this “real world,” and have done everything in my power to avoid any kind of contact with it. It turns out that this is actually surprisingly easy to do: you just have to take a bunch of standardized tests with names like “MCAT” and “LSAT” and then fill out applications for various schools. I have begun to realize that I’m going to miss college. I’m going to miss having a month off for Christmas and three months off for summer.

I’m going to miss being in a situation where my only responsibility is listening to people talk about stuff in lecture halls and then taking tests over it. I’ll miss having my only job be to learn things, most of which are cool and interesting.

I’ll miss not having my behavior constantly monitored by a supervisor at a real job, which I will eventually have to get. Whenever I do anything dumb from this May on, it’ll be much harder for me to fall back on the “dumb college kid” excuse.

That is, of course, unless I eventually become a Republican presidential candidate. In that case, I can look forward to another 10-odd years of “youthful indiscretions.”

For those of you who have objected to my constant potshots at a certain candidate in the past, let me point out that a George W. Bush scored about 800 on the SAT’s and got into Yale.

That’s about half my score, and the score of most of my friends. This from a candidate who wants to do away with affirmative action. You should earn your own way in life, said George W. Anyway, I’d like to end my last column of 2000 by encouraging all of you to not let finals bog you down too much. Remember that college is a time to learn and experience new things.

If you’re studying your textbook and come across a section that looks cool but wasn’t assigned, go ahead and read it. You’ll have plenty of time to play strictly by the rules later on.