It’s 3 a.m. and my obsessive-compulsive tendencies have over come me once again. I’ve decided to color-code, pencil-in and alphabetize the remainder of my semester. With this brilliant plan in mind and a BIC mechanical pencil in hand – you know, the soft grip kind – I proceed on my organizational crusade.

Yes, I was the kid in second grade with the trapper keeper – not because it was cool, but for the sheer joy of paper management. And yes, I still believe Post-Its to be the greatest invention known to man.

At any rate, I digress. I begin my crusade with the seemingly innocent task of acquiring class schedules and upcoming tests, but as I flip the calendar pages I realize much more is necessary in my clearly spontaneous lifestyle.

I begin color-coding work from school and soon I’m up to my knees in April, which I still protest for only having 30 days. Cop-out.

As I hit April 10, I am stunned. The class of ’07 is set to register before me. In fact, class of ’06 isn’t even on the schedule. Obviously, Academic Support or the Registrar or Dean Green has made a grievous error.

How am I going to get into the Confucian seminar in the Fall without an advanced registration slot? As I begin contemplating my avenues for redress, it hits me. There will be no Confucian seminar – in truth, I’m not sure there ever was. The sum total of my UR experience will be complete in just a few short months.

There will be no more Danforth, no more sledding at Sue B, no more Boar’s Head Dinner, no more Nipple of Knowledge and no more D-Days! Dear God, no more Uncle Dicky!

As I wrap myself into a tight ball and begin rocking I realize I am not alone. All those dancing sweaty 20-somethings at every senior night, they’re all going down with me – even the Doogie Howsers who still can’t drink in Canada. My spirits begin to rise. Yes indeed, misery loves company.

I stand up from my rocking and feel at last free to put the UR calendar aside and drink to my freedom. After all, it is a Tuesday night and I ought to be celebrating the passing of another Monday.

As my good friend, Mr. Alumna, sums it up best, “You should be excited now. It’s your time to be a lemming and jump off the cliff with the rest of ’em.” I proudly assert my lemming status as I toast to my Genny Light.

Never has a cliff looked so lovely. Sure I don’t know what my post-undergrad plans are and my neurosis overwhelms my daily functioning, but beauty lies in numbers.

As a senior, I am assured that there are at least 500 other lost souls dabbling with their fear of heights as the big jump approaches.

At least impending cliff-jumping offers the chance to land in some incredible places – hopefully beyond the trappings of my hometown.

Sure I’ve learned a couple of things in the last four years – I certainly can enumerate the components of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory or the five pillars of Islam. Guessed my major?

And the lessons aren’t limited to academia as I look back on the relationships formed, the trips taken and the eyes opened. So my lemming status is not entirely dismal -the cliff is a bit more in focus as is the ground below and the parachute I carry.

It’s 4 a.m. and I’ve ceased hyperventilating, in part because I am prepared, but in part because I know there have been lemmings before me and there will be lemmings that follow.

Indeed, soon, very soon, you’ll find yourself wondering where to find health insurance, if the plumbing in that house is good enough or just exactly how you are going to pay off the debt that the beautiful UR has bequeathed to you at your graduation. That’s right, UR poor.

Tanner can be reached at

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