It’s a known fact that kids living in first world countries who attend universities don’t actually have real problems. Sure we complain about assessment tasks and how hard it is to maintain a career as a part time poet without the fear of constant ridicule, but in the scheme of things we’ve really got it all. Yet rather than relish in the fact that we can have our huge capitalist cakes and eat them too, some of us try to develop new-age philosophical problems out of nothing. It seems that as a generation we’ve got so much money and opportunity that we become alienated.
Enter: People who do their degrees part time, over the course of eleven years who regularly jet off to Europe because they have no notion of what they want to do with the rest of their life. It certainly is a sad state of affairs when you think life is rough because you have too many opportunities. You see them at quaint little cafes, pouring over their latte in silence reading Existentialist fiction and wondering whether an Arts Degree is the right thing to be doing with their life right now. These people are only 22 years old but they’ll deliver these pained monologues about how they’ve achieved nothing in their life, and so they have decided to buy a one-way ticket to Paris, to write a short novel and clear their heads. It’s actually hard not to feel sorry for these people, what with all their free time, unlimited finances and parental support.
“I’ll just finish this degree and then what? What will I do then? Get a job? And just work for the rest of my life? I’m already 23 years old and what have I done? I think I’m just going to defer next semester, buy a ticket to South America and try to figure this thing they call life out…”
That self-righteous douche who studies Business / Accounting / Economics at university. He wears an ill-fitting suit and swanks around carrying a briefcase filled with stolen pens, a geometry kit, muesli bars and a pant-load of other inconsequential shit. One day you’ll be sitting at a cafe with your friends talking about some farfetched money making venture you’ve concocted, and The Businessman will come over with his calculator and start talking about ten year plans.
Look out for the key words:
• Ball park figures / hardball / play ball / touch base
• Crunching numbers
• Synergy / infrastructure
• 110% / wow factor
• team building / game plan / brain storming / work shopping
• Pipeline / portal
“Look, if one of you guys buys me lunch, I really think we can begin to work out a hard and fast business plan. You invest in the stocks and do the groundwork, I’ll speak to my people in marketing and, if I can secure a 30% cut of sales, I really see this going places. So, going forward, the bottom line by my calculations is we can sell the entire enterprise after 8 years at a … let me just crunch these numbers… a one million dollar profit or a 4000% return on investment. What do you say chief?”
Generally everyone in First Year is on a pretty level playing field when it comes to intellectual prowess. Obviously there are going to be some lobotomy candidates in the group - that’s inevitable. You may find yourself in class sitting next to some nice guy, who seems funny and you think, “finally, a friend at university who is actually a quality human being” and then the teacher will com in, and the guy sitting next to you will reveal slowly that he’s actually some immense intellectual prodigy. On the surface you’re the same age, but due to some freak genetic mutation The Genius doesn’t have to sleep at night so he has spent that nocturnal time getting degrees and reading 40,000 page tomes. Not only does he know the answers to every question and scores more than 95% in every essay, but he also effortlessly tells intellectual jokes that no one but the teacher understands, and every time he asks a question in class the teacher will say, “Hmmm, I never thought of that, I might have to research that” or “That’s a really good question, I’ll ask my colleagues during lunch.”
You realise that as a mere mortal hanging out with this brain god makes you appear semi-retarded and doesn’t really do much for you self-esteem either, but you hope that by simply sitting next to him once a week some of his sweet, sweet knowledge juices may penetrate your soul and help you you level up in life.
“Can anyone tell me the meaning of Freud’s theory of Parapraxis?”
It’s when you say one thing but you meant your mother.”
“Oh… well played, well played, I’ll have to put that little jibe on the staff notice board!”
Somewhere in a totally different dimension of space and time there is a myth that university is really code for a tsunami of pussy waiting to be accessed by buff dudes who write on walls with permanent markers and drive shit cars.
This is false.
You find out pretty quickly that universities are actually breeding grounds for weird brainiacs, Asian people and frigid girls who continue to wear bike shorts under their skirts. Yet for some reason the guys that are looking for pussy supreme, frat parties, those red cups filled with spiked punch and other fantastically amazing spring break related myths that only happen in American movies still go to university and hate it.
Stop paying university fees and start paying for entry into sick clubz - those places are rife with low self-esteem ladies looking for one-night love.
“This book is shit. I thought you said they’d be babes here.”
A group of cool cats who sit cross-legged on a grassy knoll in the shade with chai lattes speaking about things that are so ironic it would make your teeth bleed. They carry free-range canvas tote bags abound with 2D pencils, dragon fruit and Moleskine journals where they jot down their beatnik poetry about the trials of being institutionalised. Fuck off with your New York Times cryptic crossword, vegan diets, rare mid-week gallery openings and new age sound installations and come back when you have a real job and your parents aren’t paying for your indie haircuts.
“So man, what did you think about that exhibition?”
“Well… I mean Abstract Expressionism really is all about form and colour and symbolism. You’ve got squares, triangles… like that oval in the painting could have been a circle … but it’s not… it’s just so avant-garde.”
“Yeah… like, that oval… what does it mean? Is it an egg or is it society?”
Every damn day the Hipster in the classes dresses so well that it makes you feel like shit, because today is the third day in a row you are still wearing clothes you bought in a packet from the supermarket.
His / her:
- CAPS LOCK HANDWRITING
- Pre World War II vintage leather satchel bag
- Acai and Goji berry smoothie
- Fixed gear bike imported from Venice Beach
- Underground music venues
- Macbook Air
- 3 week shopping holiday in Europe
- Rare Japanese anime games purchased on the Black Market
- Black and White photography exhibitions
- Limited edition NASA watch
- Collection of vinyls from bands banned by the government
- Empty horn rimmed spectacle frames from San Francisco
… Is so goddamn avant-garde it makes you want to punch him/her in the face with your fists. The shit that they consider mainstream you’ll probably never know about in your entire life.
“Yeah I interned at KKSUBIII for two weeks four years ago, and I dated this fashunne modelle who had a spread in RUUUUSH magazine. Now? I’m just playing in a band… actually; I’m in a few bands. I’m mostly just working on my music and personal design projects hey. Got a couple of freelance jobs and a group photography exhibition coming up though.”
You know that whenever someone prefaces their statement with “well, in my philosophy class we learnt that…” whatever follows is going to be bullshit and you can put down your pen and stretch your cramping fingers for five minutes. The Philosopher is the douche in your class who was completely mindfucked by the theory of Plato’s Cave in Week One, and so now any time the teacher mentions the words, ‘artifice’, ‘society’, ‘creation’, ‘self-perception’ or ‘art’ he can’t help but spray his ideological semen all over everyone in the class.
Look champ, the teacher actually has a degree and knows all this shit so calm the fuck down and save your year one philosophy for the dinner table.
Whenever you’re put into groups for an assignment you are inevitably teamed with the self-professed President of Pussy who never does the readings or the homework. You run into him on the way to class one day and ask him how he is going with his part of the major essay that is due in a few days and he says something like,
“haha my brother did the course a few years ago babe, Im just going to use his essay so I can go out and get fucked up on drugs on the weekend”
It’s a really shitty feeling when you know that you’re probably going to get the same marks but your weekend is going to be the pits. You’ll be at home Saturday night reading your books and he’ll be out in the city laying in the gutter foaming at the mouth with an ambulance on the way because he bit off part of his tongue. You’d be surprised how many people at university are actually doing this on weekends.
So next time your doctor tells you that the lump on your dick is nothing to worry about, remember that there’s a high chance that he was probably hung over / wasted / on drugs during Introduction to Anatomical Science 1001 and had no idea.
The Profound Student only goes to university because the friends that he dines with once every three months think he’s an intelligent fellow.
“Gosh Steven, you’re undoubtedly the most intelligent person my partner and I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, why didn’t you ever attend university?”
“Well, my predicament is… structured education, what is it really? I prefer to learn my lessons by existing in unison with the world.”
“How do you come up with these ideas Steven? You’re just so profound.”
For some reason this dinner party hero watches a few movies about modern university life, then bingo bango! He decides to enrol. Upon arriving in class, he silently listens to the other kids and then with about 10 minutes of class to go he says something that he believes to be earth shatteringly profound like:
“So really, what IS philosophy?”
“But, WHY do we even exist?”
“How do we REALLY communicate with language?”
“Are we not all animals? How can we even begin to perceive love?
And then everyone else in the class looks around and whispers, “Who the FUCK does this guy think he is?” and the teacher doesn’t really know what to say.
Often in university you’ll learn some pretty heavy facts. During the British invasion of India for example, 50 million Indians died of starvation because they were denied access to food.
At times like these, it’s ok to say nothing… in fact it’s recommended. But for some reason there’s one twat in the class with an arsehole for a brain, who puts up his hand and says something like:
“Well, that’s what has to happen when you need resources… people die… that’s the way the colonial cookie crumbles…”
“If India wanted to be a colonial power they should’ve just invented guns first.”
“It’s not that bad… just as many people probably die of AIDS everyday.”
“There are too many people in the Third World, they probably wouldn’t have even noticed the loss.”
…And the entire class turns and stares at said twat, and the lecturer lowers her gaze to look at her feet realising that she has fundamentally failed as a teacher and you want her to say to the son of a bitch, “Sorry, that comment was so stupid you just failed the course, and I’m calling for a retroactive abortion.” But she says nothing, there’s just silence and you’re left to quietly contemplate how ignorant some people in the world actually are.