Volume 95, Issue 55

Thursday, January 10, 2002
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Maybe reading is bad for you?!

Chicken soup for the student soul

Chicken soup for the student soul

Slacktose Intolerant
Chris Lackner
C&C Editor

If you look closely, you can see the restless panic in our very body language. Within our eyes rests an unmistakable horror – a horror usually reserved for Michael Jackson's public appearance.

For those of us in our third or fourth years of university, the state I speak of can only be described as a 'mid mid-life crisis.'

On a daily basis I see friends and colleagues of mine wrestling with questions, pressures and decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. It feels like we're all aboard the pirate ship of fate, double blindfolded and collectively walking a plank.

It's true – the future is uncertain and frighteningly imminent. Many of us find ourselves consistently re-evaluating the decisions we've made and those that remain undecided.

That old university cliché tells us that we've been here to 'find ourselves.' Personally, I think I'm years away from that kind of momentous revelation.

Perched upon the cusp of the 'real' world, I've only discovered two things. First, I know much less than I thought I knew and second, my parents knew more than I ever thought they did.

Still, I'm not ready for adulthood. There remain so many unanswered questions from my youth. For starters, why were rat-tails ever popular? Did I somehow miss out on the whole hick hair nostalgia that ran rampant in early public school?

Secondly, was the leprechaun I saw back in first-year the product of hallucinogenic drugs or do the wily creatures pose a tangible threat to humanity? Until the answers to these questions become clear, I shall remain forever young.

To those of you going through your mid mid-life crisis and to those who soon will, I offer this advice:

Despite the madness, never lose sight of the small moments you've experienced during your years inside university's illusory bubble. Life is a collection of these moments and they exist to be captured.

The future holds many question marks – finances, family, employment, travel, whether you should or shouldn't grow a mullet. However, it is the accumulation of those 'moments' that will accompany you along life's crazy journeys.

It's important to recognize them as they pass. They are fleeting, but they sustain who we are.

They might include the time you and your buddies were drunk and decided to throw donuts at the police station or the night you watched a meteor shower with a group of people you'll never forget.

They could include the day you and your best friend were stoned and went searching for the world's last unicorn or that moment of anticipation before an inevitable first kiss.

No matter what curves are thrown at you in the road that lies ahead, it is these moments that will stay with you and bare real significance as the years pass.

Whether you are applying for grad school, writing law school entry exams, thinking about becoming a railway hobo or hold ill-conceived notions of entering the world of journalism (sigh) – don't get overwhelmed by your anxieties and self-doubt.

Plan for the future – ignorance is not a viable excuse (double sigh). However, don't undervalue life's moments as they pass you by – you can rest assured there will be more of them, but you'll never find any duplicates.

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