It’s 10:05 a.m., Monday morning, and you wake up in a panic. You are five minutes late for class because you went to bed at 4 a.m. Why? The night before, you went to Gleason. Hence, what should have taken you two hours exponentially increased to seven as you, your friends and the other 3,000 occupants of Gleason relived the stories of the weekend.
But whether or not you did the walk of shame from Sig Chi or performed unmentionable acts to get free cheesy fries from Uncle Dickie (like traded Pokemon cards, clearly), you landed in your bed at 3 a.m. This would have been fine, except then you thought, ‘Hey, I’ll just peruse Facebook for a second, just to see if my stalker feed has made any vital weekend updates.” Three hours later, you’re looking at an album called ‘My First Party” by that kid from your high school that used to pick his nose in physics class. Obviously, he now goes to Rochester Institute of Technology. You lay down in your bed while the sun comes up, and as you imagine the dawning day and all its glittering potential, you think, ‘Tomorrow is gonna suck.”
Welcome to college. Land of the sleep-deprived and stressed out. With a life like this, all I can seem to think about at the end of each day is how much I can cram into the next. Between meetings, classes and social life, sometimes I feel like a robot fueled by overpriced Starbucks beverages. But whenever I feel like hibernating, I have to take a step back and remember one thing: to be grateful, because my biggest problem is someone else’s biggest dream.
After all, only 63 percent of high-school graduates go on to college. While I may be the center of my universe, there is actually a real universe out there. When I get anxious, I remember that I have a lot of things that most of the world doesn’t, like three meals a day and warm clothes. When you slap some perspective into your life, you realize you overslept this morning, but at least you have a bed to oversleep in. In addition to taking advantage of the educational resources here, UR is teeming with fascinating people, many of whom I have learned invaluable lessons from. On top of all that, I get to live with my best friends. It’s just like summer camp, except better, because here we have Genny Lite. Next time you have three midterms in one week or realize you haven’t started that five-page paper due in three hours, just chug a lot of coffee and remember how lucky you are to have caffeine to get addicted to.
Most importantly, young people go to college so they can learn, but since we have been given so much, we must give back more. We cannot ignore the things we do not see, the people who suffer while we live in comfort. It is up to us to figure out how to create a better world for the future. We are an intelligent, capable generation that can make a difference, whether it’s by doing community service or voting in the next election. So be wary of your opportunities, and if you’re ever feeling like there’s just too much on your plate, remember that you can always eat your feelings at Danforth.
Schneier is a member of the class of 2011.