Quarter-life crisis begins now

Doug Scott

U-Wire Columnist University of Kentucky

For those of us who are anxiously counting down the days until graduation, congratulations: We have reached T-minus 30 days.

That’s right. In a mere month, this institution, for better or worse, will deem those of us with the appropriate number of credit hours worthy of a college degree, and society will deem us able to function in the real world.

Oh my God.

I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t realize that all of this was closing in so fast until a few days ago.

Maybe it was finally getting my last piece of paperwork turned in for graduation, or getting my commencement notification in the mail, but the other day I looked in the mirror and said, “You don’t have to go to school anymore,” and I started to flip out and I have been getting progressively more insane.

As my esteemed colleague Andrew Martin wrote it in his Wednesday column, I’m going through what some would call a “quarter-life crisis.”

I wake up in the middle of the night convinced that all of my coursework for the rest of the semester is due that morning.

I find myself daydreaming about reading fiction novels for pleasure instead of overpriced textbooks for class.

I skipped class the other day and, instead of catching up on work for other classes or doing work I watched “Looney Tunes” on YouTube.com.

Do you remember the one where Daffy Duck is Robin Hood and Porky Pig is Friar Tuck, and Porky laughs the entire time?

That’s one of my favorites.

It’s ironic that, as I’m on the cusp of becoming an “adult” or whatever you want to call it, all I really want is be a little kid again.

While most of my peers are applying for co-ops and internships, going to job interviews and even getting married, I would be perfectly content to spend my day laughing at fart jokes, eating yogurt and watching reruns of “ER.”

Think about it: You worked all through grade school to get to college. You’ve now worked all through college to get your degree and a job.

You’ll then work all through your professional career to earn money, get promotions, and eventually retire.

You’ve been working this whole time so you can … work some more?

As if college hadn’t ruined my idealistic outlook on life enough, this whole graduation thing is the coup de grace; once I leave this institution, everything changes.

Drinking heavily doesn’t make a party animal; it makes you an alcoholic and fat.

Being poor isn’t funny; it’s just keeping you from eating anything more glamorous than Lean Cuisines or having a full tank of gas.

Going home for a month during the winter holidays and spending the entire summer working an easy job and lounging around will become abbreviated stints of relaxation, replaced by endless hours of responsibility and bureaucratic nonsense.

For the time being, at least, this is the end of my academic career.

Graduate school was on the horizon for a while, but I’ve realized that I don’t care enough about furthering my education at the moment to justify it.

Plus, graduate school would be an awfully expensive way for me to make up my mind as to where I want my life to go at the moment.

So here I am.

Or, if you find yourself in the same mind set, here we are.

I don’t feel prepared for the real world, and yet I’m too sick of school to seek refuge within the confines of UK.

And if you’re like me, you are making an honest effort to try to turn your crippled academic career around before you fail and can’t graduate, but the SWEB server is down or something and you can’t download your take-home exam that’s due in half an hour.

Maybe that’s what I’ve learned here. You can’t win.

No matter how hard you try, you just can’t win.

With that in mind, I’ll see you all at Keeneland.