In psychology class, I learned that the fastest period of growth in life happens when we are first born. Well, the person who said that obviously didn’t study college students. The amount that I have grown and learned over these past four years is unrivaled at any other juncture in my life. Of course I didn’t transition from an illiterate, babbling toddler to a thinking, reading kindergartner, but during my time in college I learned to stand on my own.

I studied in Barcelona and traveled Europe, took lecture notes from world-famous professors, held a campus job, managed a newspaper, raised money for charity, applied for postgraduation jobs and made the monumental decision on which to accept, all while having the best time of my life with friends who I will never forget. But I will save these accolades for the confused prospective students wandering around during Spring Open Campus with their parents, who muster up the courage to ask me if I have enjoyed my time here at UR.

For now, as long as my diploma cannot be revoked and future employers cannot use this article against me, I would like to share some of the bad habits that I have learned as a student here.

1. Stealing: No, I am not talking about robbing a bank, although the thought did cross my mind after the third five-percent tuition increase was enacted. Rather, I am referring to what I see as taking what is rightfully mine from ARAMARK. Underclassmen, cover your eyes and don’t read this section because, when I had 93 Clubs and $100 Declining left at the end of the year, I would have never slipped a Diet Dr. Pepper and a Blimpie wrap in my bag on my way out the entrance to the Pit. But when I ran out of Declining on my senior meal plan, it became too easy. I’m sorry Cam Schauf – please forgive me.

2. Evading fire alarms: In the “real world,” when a fire alarm is blaring, the goal is to be the first one out of the building, safe and unharmed. In our world here at UR, the goal is to become temporarily deaf and remain sleeping comfortably in bed. I’m sorry, Mr. Fire Marshall, but after being woken up for the third time in a row by the alarm and flashing lights on a Friday night, I believe the “emergency” is just someone’s drunk accident or a jealous ex-girlfriend trying to catch her flame in bed with another girl.

3. Creeping: I hate when people call Facebooking “stalking.” Stalking is an arrestable offense done by the questionably insane, but creeping is simply a bad habit I picked up here when people started broadcasting their lives on Facebook. If you give most girls 20 minutes online, they can find out anything you need to know about someone – dirt on him or her, information with regards to his or her past relationships, friends, enemies, even what he or she is doing at this very moment.

4. Borrowing: During my time here, I became very lazy with replacing my everyday necessities that I frequently run out of. For example, when my toothpaste is empty, I borrow one of my friend’s for about a week. Then I switch to another friend’s, so I don’t use up all of one person’s. After about three weeks to a month of this, usually after a paycheck, I’ll make the trip to CVS to purchase a new tube of Crest. I also replace the laundry detergent, lotion, shampoo, conditioner and bottled water that I have been borrowing from around my suite.

This list could go on to include pulling all-nighters, drinking, procrastinating, dozing off in class, taking pens from work, dropping challenging classes and so on, but now that I think about it, I take back calling these habits “bad.” I don’t plan on continuing them postgraduation, but I am not embarrassed to put my name at the top of this article.

In this short period of extreme growth and indescribable fun, there is very little I would change or take back. One bad habit that I plan on immediately breaking is my incompetency to stay in touch.

Best of luck to the class of 2008, and, to the underclassmen, have fun making your own list of bad habits!

Paret is a member of the class of 2008.

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